Home » Jazz Musicians » Monday Michiru

Monday Michiru

Monday Michiru (full name: Monday Michiru Mariano), so named to reflect her Japanese, Italian and American heritage, is also the genesis of renowned jazz musicians, NEA Jazz Master Toshiko Akiyoshi and cult jazz saxophonist Charlie Mariano, as well as jazz saxophonist-flutist Lew Tabackin who helped raise her. While she showed natural talent playing flute from a young age, studying classically at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy on scholarship, her inspiration in music caught fire with singing, composition and music production. In 1987, Monday was scouted by Japanese movie director, Shinji Somai, to debut in the lead role as an opera singer in his movie “Hikaru Onna” (“Luminous Woman”). Somai was renowned to pick up unknown talent and throttle them to stardom, and the film did not disappoint, garnering Monday Best New Actress awards from the Japan Film Academy (Japan’s equivalent to the Academy Award in the U.S.), Kinema Junpo, and the Yokohama Film Festival. Opportunities continued for Monday through lead roles in movies, stage theatre and television, as well as in other fields such as hosting her own radio programs (J-Wave, FM Tokyo), modeling for major campaigns (Four Roses, Kinema Junpo, Japan Postal System, Yves St. Laurent, etc.), writing columns in Japanese publications, and DJing in clubs.

Starting in 1991, Monday began releasing solo albums in Japan of original material for major record labels (Universal, Virgin, Sony), as well as collaborating with then up-and-coming artists DJ Krush, United Future Organization, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Mondo Gross and others, the releases making their way to the Asian, European, Australian, South American and the U.S. markets. Collaborations continued with worldwide renowned artists such as Basement Jaxx, Masters At Work, Joe Clausell, Lisa Ono, Da Lata, Jazztronik, P'taah, Jephte Guillaume, Louie Vega, Steal Vybe, and more. 

While Monday's name has become synonymous with the ‘90s Japanese underground club scene, even earning her the title as the "acid jazz diva," she is quick to rebuke such labeling. One only needs to explore her vast collection of works to hear the musical development over the years in which she has crossed over and beyond the scope of dance music to a style that is undeniably hers; Monday is the rare female singer/songwriter who also produces her own works.

Monday has appeared in numerous music festivals and clubs worldwide as a solo artist, including the Blue Note Clubs in NYC and throughout Japan, Innervisions Festival in London, Birdland in NYC, Brasil SummerFest in NYC, Billboard Clubs in Osaka and Tokyo, Joe’s Pub in NYC, Taichung Jazz Festival in Taiwan, Java Jazz Festival and Jak Jazz in Indonesia, Newport Jazz Festival in Madarao, Bohemian Caverns in D.C., North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Stuttgart Jazz Festival, and many more. 

Read more


Album Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles
“...she’s got that certain crossover appeal that is fluent in urban R&B, contemporary jazz, rock and infectious Brazilian rhythms, resulting in music that’s not easily categorized, yet is thoroughly engaging.” — All About Jazz

“At a time when music is in a state of flux mostly as a result of the virtual collision of idioms and metaphors, it is a joy to hear the voice of Monday Michiru.” — Latin Jazz Network

“Michiru has been able to parlay her pedigree into a significant career of her own, staking a place within jazz as singer and composer crafting danceable but artistically significant Brazilian flavored acid-jazz and soul with an underground flair...Multi- talented with a lot to show for it, Monday Michiru’s lack of any commercial success in the American market is a bit baffling and the uncompromising Soulception likely won’t break her into it. But that’s on us Americans, not her. The few Yanks who will find this record are likely to consider themselves lucky that they did.” — Something Else

Read more

Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


LYRICIZE - Lyric writing workshops and private lessons. Workshops are twice a year, and held online once a week for 4 consecutive weeks, one-hour each session. Capped at 20 people, we work on various exercises (varies session by session). Private lessons also focuses on lyrics.

Flora Purim
Milton Nascimento
guitar and vocals
Steely Dan
band / ensemble / orchestra
Stevie Wonder



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson





Sonic Image


Naked Breath 2

My Crib Records



Billboard Japan Records



Adventure Music



Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.