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Take Five With Charito

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Charito:

Distinctively a most prominent jazz vocalist in Japan with multi-awarded albums recorded and released internationally, Charito's artistry continues to establish its global presence with her recent and forthcoming tours in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America.

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 Nancy Wilson's words, "The first time I heard Charito, I physically and emotionally embraced her and thought to 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)



Teachers and/or influences?

Stevie Wonder, Sarah Vaughan.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I saw real musicians strive for quality and creativity.

Your sound and approach to music:

Soulful, playful.

Your teaching approach:

Use breath expansively.

Your dream band:

A great pianist, bassist, drummer willing to explore, have fun and can relate to the audience.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Singing in front of 70,000 people at the Montreal Jazz Festival. That was awesome!

Favorite venue:

Body and Soul, Tokyo.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Watch What Happens (Charito meets Michel Legrand). The title alone speaks for itself, being blessed with a performance with a master is an ultimate treasure.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Singing from the heart and knowing how.

Did you know...

I also did a duet on stage (by chance) with Sarah Vaughan.

I have a recording of it but it's still in keeping.

CDs you are listening to now:

Johnny Hartman, For Trane;

Stefano Bosso, You've Changed;

Andrea Bocelli, 2006 Amore;

Charito, Watch What Happens;

Alain Brunet, Swingin' Trenet.

Desert Island picks:

Charito, Watch What Happens;

Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life;

Quincy Jones, Back On the Block;

Sarah Vaughan, With Michel Legrand;

David Foster, The Christmas Album.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? It's always in a state of surviving yet it continues to be defined by many more artists who keep it alive.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Grab the audience attention.

What is in the near future?

More travels:

Tahiti in April, 2009;

San Francisco in June, 2009;

South of France in August, 2009;

Sydney, California in August, 2009.

By Day:

I run my own Voice Workshop in Tokyo.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

I studied AB Mass Comm, so I may have tried my hand in advertizing.


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