Tsunenori "Lee" Abe
Tsunenori "Lee" Abe, Composer

Tsunenori “Lee” ABE is an active composer, arranger, performer and producer throughout the country as well as in his native country, Japan. ABE has written music for many types of instrumentation, from solo piano, pop rock band, and big band, to world-class orchestras likes the Boston Pops. While ABE is extremely versatile in many genres, his name is especially known in the vocal jazz world as an arranger both in the US and in Japan. He won the best arranger’s award in 2008 at Harmony Sweepstakes, the world’s biggest A Cappella Competition, with his arrangement of “High And Dry,” a unique interpretation of the Radiohead classic.

Tsunenori “Lee” ABE is an active composer, arranger, performer and producer throughout the country as well as in his native country, Japan. ABE has written music for many types of instrumentation, from solo piano, pop rock band, and big band, to world-class orchestras likes the Boston Pops. While ABE is extremely versatile in many genres, his name is especially known in the vocal jazz world as an arranger both in the US and in Japan. He won the best arranger’s award in 2008 at Harmony Sweepstakes, the world’s biggest A Cappella Competition, with his arrangement of “High And Dry,” a unique interpretation of the Radiohead classic.

Many of his works, highly praised by such musical personalities as Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops, Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer, Kim Nazarian of New York Voices, and Cedric Dent of Take 6, are currently published through YAMAHA Music Media, Sunnyside Music and University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Jazz Press, and are being sung by many vocal jazz lovers across the nation.

ABE is the primary arranger, composer, and bandleader of an award-winning vocal jazz quartet “Syncopation,” and has appeared at festivals and venues such as Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Boston’s 4th of July Celebration with the Boston Pops, Meihou Music Festival and Blue Note New York among others.

In addition to his composing and playing, ABE is a respected educator and gives master classes for vocal writing and group singing frequently, and serves as an Assistant Professor for Contemporary Writing and Production department at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, where he shares his love in composing and arranging with students from all over the world.

Junichi Fukuda
Junichi Fukuda, Dance

Junichi Fukuda (Dancer), is a native of Japan. He has been a member of Ballet Tech/NY, Oakland Ballet, Smuin Ballet/SF, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Nejla Yatkin’s NY2 Dance, Buglisi Dance Theatre and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (formerly Peridance Ensemble). He is currently a member of New York Baroque Dance Company, Bowen McCauley Dance, DANCESMITH, Rebollar Dance and Christopher K. Morgan & Artists. He has toured throughout the US and abroad in Italy, Germany, Israel, France and Japan. Junichi received a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory.

Junichi Fukuda (Dancer), is a native of Japan. He has been a member of Ballet Tech/NY, Oakland Ballet, Smuin Ballet/SF, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Nejla Yatkin’s NY2 Dance, Buglisi Dance Theatre and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (formerly Peridance Ensemble). He is currently a member of New York Baroque Dance Company, Bowen McCauley Dance, DANCESMITH, Rebollar Dance and Christopher K. Morgan & Artists. He has toured throughout the US and abroad in Italy, Germany, Israel, France and Japan. Junichi received a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory. His choreography has been presented nationally and internationally in countries such as France, Japan, Brazil and Germany. He has been commissioned to create a new work for Christopher K. Morgan & Artists in Spring 2013 (www.christopherkmorgan.com). Junichi is interested in a medley of different styles of dance, from Baroque to Contemporary, and enjoys exploring cerebral concepts in his work. Junichi is a recipient of Dance Place's 2012 New Releases Commission.

For more about his current activities, please visit WWW.FUKUDANCE.COM

Mamiko Hirai
Mamiko Hirai, Piano

Having spent her early years in the State of Kentucky, Mamiko moved to Kyoto at the age of five. Mamiko began studying piano at the age of four and, with her talent being discovered soon thereafter, she began studying classical piano intensely at the age of seven. During that period, she began composing music, and during her elementary school years she entered various contests and won prizes for her piano performances as well as for the music she had composed.

Having spent her early years in the State of Kentucky, Mamiko moved to Kyoto at the age of five. Mamiko began studying piano at the age of four and, with her talent being discovered soon thereafter, she began studying classical piano intensely at the age of seven. During that period, she began composing music, and during her elementary school years she entered various contests and won prizes for her piano performances as well as for the music she had composed.

Mamiko majored in piano at Toho Gakuen Music High School as well as Toho Gakuen College. After graduating from college, Mamiko began performing as a live pianist in theatrical events and other shows, while at the same time composing music for television commercials, television programs, and movies. She provided the music for commercials for a variety of corporations, including Canon, Shiseido, PILOT, and ROHTO. In television, her music was used as the theme song for Nippon Juudan Kokoro Tabi (NHK-BS Premium Channel, airing from 2011) and as background music for numerous other shows. Mamiko has also taken charge of the music for twelve different movies which screened at amphitheaters. She was an indispensable force in certain productions of the film director Yoshihiro Fukagawa (nine films to present, including Into the White Night released in 2011, and Love Letters at Sixty released in 2010).

Internationally, Mamiko has performed as part of the Kyoto “IMMAGE” unit “Maion” in the Japanese Festival in Florence, Italy in 2005, and has also appeared together with the classical guitarist Souichi Muraji at the S&R Foundation-sponsored “Music on the Potomac” concert of 2011.

While offering her music pieces for use in the media, in recent years Mamiko has also been focusing her energies on solo piano concerts and on creating a series of albums containing her “Piano Diary,” a collection of her original works. The first album conveying the imagery of her day-to-day emotions and unforgettable moments (released in 2007), the second album striving at a psychological portrait via piano taking a closer look at her inner being (scheduled to be released in 2013), and her “Piano Dairy” freely expressing every whim of her heart are fundamental to Mamiko and could even be said to be suitably classified as her life-work.

Mamiko has recently received the 2012 Washington Award by the S&R Foundation of Washington D.C. She will be debuting her first performance in the United States this autumn as a part of the Holiday Concert Series at the Everymay Mansion in Georgetown.

Ayane Kozasa
Ayane Kozasa, Viola

Winner of the prestigious Primrose International Viola Competition in 2011, Ayane Kozasa also captured the Competition’s Mozart Award for the best chamber music performance, as well as its Askim Award for her performance of the Competition’s commissioned work. As the First Prize winner, she is scheduled for upcoming concerts in both Europe and the United States. A winner of Astral Artists’ 2012 National Auditions, Ms. Kozasa has also been a prizewinner at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition.

Winner of the prestigious Primrose International Viola Competition in 2011, Ayane Kozasa also captured the Competition’s Mozart Award for the best chamber music performance, as well as its Askim Award for her performance of the Competition’s commissioned work. As the First Prize winner, she is scheduled for upcoming concerts in both Europe and the United States. A winner of Astral Artists’ 2012 National Auditions, Ms. Kozasa has also been a prizewinner at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition. She has been featured in The Strad and Strings magazines, and her performances have been broadcast on “Live from the Mayne Stage” for WFMT in Chicago, and on Philadelphia’s WHYY.

Ayane Kozasa has attended numerous festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire’s Young Artists Program, The Steans Music Institute at the Ravinia Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Miss Kozasa’s interest in chamber music has led her to a number of concert appearances across the United States, including a national concert tour with pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn as a part of Curtis on Tour. Most recently, she was invited to be a part of Ravinia’s Steans on Tour for the 2013 spring season. Miss Kozasa is also a founding member of the Philadelphia-based chamber group ensemble39.

In the fall, Ayane will be a Young Soloist at Kronberg Academy with Professor Nobuko Imai. She recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with violists Misha Amory and Roberto Diaz. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Kirsten Docter. Ayane also studied violin with William Preucil while at CIM, and has worked with notable teachers such as Michael Tree, Nathan Cole, Cyrus Forough, and Philip Lewis.