All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Chiemi Elson

Chiemi Elson

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Chiemi had exposure to various types of music growing up. She started to write music at an early age, by the time she was in high school she was performing with her own band at local venues. She developed her passion for Jazz as a teenager and started to sing at local Jazz clubs. Her first vocal inspirations were Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Ernestine Anderson, Billie Holiday, and Shirley Horn. After Chiemi moved to the US in the 1990’s she continued to play music in NYC, however she stopped performing for over a decade to focus on her family. In 2012 Chiemi started appearing in Harlem, some great musicians appreciated her talent, knowledge, and drive, and invited her to perform. With Lenny Nelson’s support and guidance, Chiemi performed as a duo at various clubs in the NY area, and with the encouragement of the late great Sam Hargress Jr., she led her own band at Harlem’s legendary iconic bar at Paris Blues on a weekly basis for several years. During those years, Chiemi collaborated with many top musicians in the NY Jazz scene, including Marcus Persiani, Radam Shwartz, Tommy Campbell, Tyler Mitchell, Ilya Lushtak, Saul Rubin, Freddie Bryant, Paul Bollenback, Pat Bianchi, Chris Berger, and many others.


Shop Amazon

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.