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Charito*

Recognized as one of the most individual and creative jazz vocalists in today's Japan jazz circuit. Acclaimed by critics, musicians and audiences as one of the most powerful and talented artists, she has definitely notched a place for herself in Japan's exclusive music world, and is now gaining note abroad. She has ten albums released with most recordings done in US, Canada and Brazil.

Her highly personal and expressive vocal style incorporates the breadth of her musical interests, from straight-ahead soulful ballads to hard-swinging grooves and improvisational adventures. Her approach is fresh and invigorating, paying tribute to the jazz tradition while interacting and exploring, always seeking to express herself in the moment.

In Ms. Nancy Wilson's words, "The first time I heard Charito, I physically and emotionally embraced her and thought myself BEAUTIFUL, that came from the heart and the soul. She has a warm way of presenting a song and she represents what a singer really is, a song stylist." This Girl (1990)

Her career began its highlights after her first album This Girl was launched in 1990 by Nippon Crown, being the first foreign artist under their label. This opened more doors for her followed by her next albums commercial successes.

More than anything, her experiences working with top notch musicians in the likes of Harry Whitaker, Alex Blake and Wallace Rooney on Swing My Way (1991/NIPPON CROWN), Maurice White on Shades of Love (1992/NIPPON CROWN), collaboration with Cornell Dupree, Buddy Williams, David Espinozza on Love of My Life (1993/NIPPON CROWN), added prestige to her work and has helped in making her a figure in today's music world.

In projecting herself as an artist, she included in her albums two famous Philippine love songs partly to affirm her roots as a Filipino. She promotes a more positive image of her country and continuously helps bring about cultural awareness through music. For her efforts, she was honored with an award of commendation as Ambassador of Goodwill, in acknowledgment of her support to the promotional activities of the Philippine department of Tourism in Japan.

This talented artist has already entranced the North American audience during a 1995 tour in Chicago, New York, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal as vocalist for the Asian Jazz All Stars headed by Terumasa Hino, Japan's foremost jazz trumpet player. In 1996, they also toured Korea, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, capped by a performance at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival held in Yokohama Japan.

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CENTERFOLD January-February 2008: CHARITO: THE ARTIST by Christopher Santos

There is a fundamental distinction between a singer/performer and an artist. And then there are certain dues to be paid in order to be welcomed in the league of the internationally acclaimed. Seldom would one rise above the challenges to be successful in the field of music, and only those that have passion and discipline for their craft can command a well-deserved and sustained respect. A true artist is measured not by a mere celebrity status but with the quality of her work, the timeless effect of her music, the recognition of other established musicians, and the tireless support of a following. It is an observable fact that Filipinos are well known for having good vocal pipes. They come and they go. However, only a uniquely gifted few can ensure the milestones that perfect their calling. And only one has earned that place here in Japan as she consistently brings forth achievements after accomplishments each year.

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