Featured Artist: Toshiko Akiyoshi

Who is Toshiko Akiyoshi?

Toshiko AkiyoshiBorn in Manchuria, Akiyoshi first moved to Japan with her parents at the end of World War II, and then to the United States in 1956 to study at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Following a series of performances in top New York venues, in 1973, she and her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin, formed the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. Known for her uniquely textural big band compositions and Japanese influence, Akiyoshi has received fourteen Grammy Award nominations, was the first woman to win Best Arranger and Composer awards in Down Beat magazine's annual Readers' Poll, and received the title of NEA Jazz Master in 2007.

To listen to the words of Toshiko Akiyoshi, visit her Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Interview.


Smithsonian Jazz is made possible through leadership support from:

The LeRoy Neiman Foundation

The Argus Fund

The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation
founding donor of the Jazz Appreciation Month endowment

David C. Frederick and Sophia Lynn

Goldman Sachs

The John Hammond Performance Series Endowment Fund