‘Why we joined the union’
Volume 120, No. 1January, 2020
I first joined Local 802 almost 20 years ago and recently renewed my membership after an unfortunate incident at a club in Harlem. My band and I were apparently fired due to my ethnicity. We were helped by Local 802 attorney Harvey Mars and Local 802 rep Todd Weeks and it made me realize that it would be good to be back in the union. My musical goal in New York City is to keep creating harmonious music with a positive message. When people move their bodies and dance to our music, it makes me so happy. I love to see different people from different places appreciate music. No matter who we are, where we’re from or what language we speak, music can spread happiness and freedom. I started to play classical piano at age 5 and started writing my own songs shortly thereafter. I trained as a registered nurse in Japan, but my passion is music. I came to NYC in 1996 to study jazz and start performing. Jazz is such a great way for me to express myself and find out who I am. I want to give this freedom back to the community. I currently co-lead the band Beautiful Journey. I also founded the Love Earth Arts Foundation and I travel back to Japan to give lectures and teach young people. My principal instruments are voice, piano and castanets.