A native of Japan,
Mitsuko was born in Kumamoto and
raised in a variety of places including Kawaguchi,
Isahaya and Ohmura, Nagasaki.
Despite her parents’ vagabond lifestyle, she kept herself busy with
activities such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, running,
martial arts with her brothers, and consistently sought new challenges in
leadership positions such as captain of the tennis team and vice president
of the student council.
At the age of 15, Mitsuko’s parents’
nomadic and professional interests took their family to the United
States. After briefly
attending the Xavier College Preparatory
School in Phoenix,
Mitsuko transferred to Chandler High
School where she grew
an intense interest in music. During her high school career, she played
tenor saxophone in concert band and sang in the honor choir, jazz/show
choir, many musicals and was asked to sing the National Anthem representing
These interests in music led her to
study voice with Professor Elizabeth Mannion at the University of California, Santa
Barbara. There, she performed in numerous
recitals, musicals, orchestra concerts, opera performances and chamber
music concerts as a soloist. After acquiring a Bachelor of Music in voice
performance at UCSB, Mitsuko moved to New
York to pursue music at the Manhattan
School of Music. There, she studied with Patricia Mislin and Trish
McCarferey, earned her Master’s degree and continued to appear in concerts
including the world premiere performance of “Princess Kaguya” as the title
role at the Silvia and Daniel Kaye Playhouse.
Her interest in jazz rapidly grew as she
attended many jazz performances including those by Nancy Wilson, Cassandra
Wilson, Norah Jones, Jane Monheit, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Warner, Grady
Tate, Louis Hayes, and Brad Mehldau and spent a great deal of time
surrounded by other jazz musicians. Upon graduation with a Master in Music
in voice, she began to actively pursue jazz alongside J-Yorkers; Eishin
Nose (pn), Yosuke Inoue (bs), Taro Koyama (dm) and Satoshi Inoue (gr).
Besides her passions in music, she is a
lover of all sports, arts, dance, culture, traveling, literature, food and
languages. She is bilingual in Japanese and English, but also has basic
skills in Spanish, German, Italian, French and Russian. She enjoys salsa
dancing, Argentine tango and other partner dancing, and also loves nature
and seasons. Her favorite authors include Herman Hesse, Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe and Ayn Rand.
Although she has spent the majority of
her life as a wanderer, she plans to remain in New York City, which
provides and feeds her endless thirst for adventure in all venues.