Pianist, Manami Morita was born in Saitama, Japan in 1984. She started off learning classical piano at the age of 4. Unfortunately, she hated piano lessons, because she couldn’t stand all the rules in classical piano. On the other hand, she loved playing as she wanted and felt. At the age of 13, she met JAZZ. “Well, THIS IS AWESOME, I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!!”, she proclaimed.
After learning on her own, she received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in 2005 and decided to change her life – previously, she had thought of being an English teacher or a flight attendant! In 2006, she moved to the United States and started her career at Berklee in Boston to search for her own music, based on jazz.
Manami majored in Jazz Composition at Berklee. She was fascinated by all the great writings of the Jazz giants. The good thing is, Berklee kept her busy. She spent all of her time writing. In 2007, she was awarded the Mary Jane Earnhart Endowed Scholarship by Berklee. In 2008, she was selected as a representative of the Jazz Composition Department and was also awarded the Herb Pomeroy Award. In 2009, she participated in the International Kodolanyi Jazz Competition in Hungary with Tenor Saxophone player Mitsuru Hirayama and won 3rd prize. Manami was awarded the Outstanding Performer Award at the same competition. In 2013, Manami has won the 2nd prize at Cotai International Jazz&Blues Competition in Macau, China.
Manami has performed with internationally acclaimed musicians, such as Esperanza Spalding, Greg Hopkins, Mark Walker, Rosa Pasos, Oscar Stagnaro and more. Also, she has appeared at major music festivals such as the Martha’s Vineyard Music Festival, Salem Jazz Festival, Tokyo Jazz, Rochester International Jazz Festival etc. She has played at such prestigious jazz clubs as Sculler’s Jazz Club, Ryle’s Jazz Club, Blue Note New York and Nagoya, Billboard Osaka and others.
Manami graduated from Berklee in 2008 and released her first album “Colors” in 2009, her second album “For You” in 2010 and her third album “When Skies are Grey” in 2012 through Rambling Records, Inc. After living in the U.S. for 10 years, in 2015, Manami moved forward to Japan, continuing her search for something new. Re-focusing on her roots will allow her to further cultivate her musicality. But she still does whatever she wants musically. That will never change.
..and her journey continues…