Monday Michiru Biography
Tokyo-born Monday Michiru’s unique name was chosen by her parents – jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi and jazz saxophonist Charlie Mariano – as a reflection of both her Japanese and American heritage. With music obviously in her blood, Monday showed an intense interest in the arts from an early age; she studied modern dance and ballet for five years starting at the age of 8, and classical flute for eight years starting at age 11. She also attended the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan, where Monday was recognized for her talent and awarded a scholarship from both the Armstrong Flute Association and the Interlochen Arts Academy to attend the prestigious school full time. It was during her years at IAA (1979-1981) that she discovered the strength of another instrument – her voice.
After graduating IAA, Monday shifted her studies from the classical flute and began concentrating on her voice more seriously. In 1987, she was scouted by a young Japanese movie director named Shinji Somai to appear as a lead in his movie “Hikaru Onna” (“Luminous Woman”), a cinematic tale of an opera singer. Mr. Somai was infamous in Japan at the time for casting unknown young people with enormous potential and no formal acting experience. The film entered the International Tokyo Film Festival in 1987, and won Best New Actress awards from Kinema Junpo, The Japan Academy, and the Yokohama Film Festival. After the success of “Hikaru Onna”, Monday continued her newfound and unexpected acting career in Japan, which expanded to include theatre, television, hosting her own radio programs, modeling for major commercial ads, and appearing on shows from major broadcasting networks as a “personality."
It was in 1991 that Monday finally had the opportunity to reroute her endeavors back to her roots in music. She released her debut solo album that year; by 1993, Monday was steadily recording and releasing albums in Japan and later in Europe, Australia, and South America. In addition to her work as a solo artist, she also became a featured singer/writer, collaborating with groups and artists including DJ Krush, Mondo Grosso, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Basement Jaxx, UA, Masters At Work, Joe Clausell, Lisa Ono and many others. While she is best known for being one of the pioneers of the acid jazz movement in Japan in the early 90s and later as one of the few women in Japan's underground club scene, Monday has undoubtedly crossed over and beyond the scope of club music to a style that is undeniably and uniquely her own. She is also one of the rare female singer/songwriters who produces her own work.
has appeared at numerous music festivals and clubs both in Japan and
including the Greater Tokyo Music Festival at Honmonji, Tokyo
(2003), the Okayama Jazz Festival (2003), the Blue Note Clubs in New
throughout Japan, the Newport Jazz Festival in Madarao (1999), The
Baltic Jazz Festival (1999), North Sea Jazz Festival (1997), Montreux
Festival (1997), Stuttgart Jazz Festival (1997), The Phoenix Festival
Jazz Festival (1995), etc. She
currently resides in New York City with her husband, jazz trumpeter
latest project, the earthy and ephemerally organic “Naked Breath”, is
realized through ArtistShare and can
be found through her website: www.mondaymichiru.com.