Including insight from Marty Morell

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Michiko Ohta was born in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Nicknamed Michiquita (It means my little girl in Spanish). She started working professionally at 20 years old and did a lot of recording for CM , TV and performances with various artists as a chorus singer and percussionist. In 1995 she traveled to Cuba in order to study Latin Music and dance. It was a wonderful influence for her subsequent musical career. At that time she started to vocalize in Spanish singing many classic Cuban songs. She also began using her newly acquired Cuban percussion skills professionally.In 1996 she started to perform with the well known Japanese all girl Latin band  "Chica Boom" as a vocalist and percussionist. Chica Boom was Japans first all female Latin Band. In 1993 Chica Boom got the best "New Artist Award" for the 7th Japan Gold Disc Awards.After a variety of activities, in 2004 she went to Cuba again to play with famous Latin piano player Ken Morimura (he is music director of Orquesta del Sol, he produced Chica Boom' CD too). With Ken Morimura and 'Estrellas del Japon' Michiko played at El Teatro Mella in Havana. It was the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Japan. The concert was also broadcast on television in Cuba.In recent years, she has formed her own musical groups in Tokyo, Japan. 'Clave y Galapago' 'Sonrisas' 'Las Mun~ecas' etc....She has also done a lot of performances with other style Latin bands. (Folklore, Mexican, Latin big band, Latin Jazz group etc.) In March 2008, she went to Cuba again to play at the city's International Festival in Santiago de Cuba "Festival de la Trova Pepe Sanchez" The performance was highly acclaimed.She resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Marty Morell and 2011 released her first solo CD "Enamorada". In 2015, She won a Hillsborough County Arts Council award grant (2015 Individual Performing Artist Grant program). Her second solo CD "In the Morning~Great Composers~" was released on Oct 27th 2015.

About Marty Morell & Michiko Ohta Morell

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M & M Music USA   Marty Morell  &  Michiko Ohta Morell

Marty Morell (drums, percussion, vibes, piano, producer) was a member of the BILL EVANS Trio for seven years - longer than any other drummer. A highly inventive player, capable of both great subtlety and fiery dynamics, Morell attended the Manhattan School of Music and studied mallets with Morris Goldberg, and tympani with Saul Goodman at the Julliard School of Music. Prior to joining Bill Evans, Morell worked and/or recorded with the Al Cohn-Zoot Sims Quintet, Henry “Red” Allen , Gary McFarland, Steve Kuhn and Gabor Szabo and many others. He recorded prolifically and toured the world with pianist Bill Evans and bassist Eddie Gomez from late 1968 through 1974. After leaving the trio, Marty settled in Toronto, Canada where he became a highly sought after studio drummer and percussionist. He fronted his own bands as a drummer and also worked as a vibist and pianist with his Latin band. Morell has played on numerous jingles, films, and has worked and recorded with many jazz artists such as Don Sebesky, Stan Getz, Kenny Wheeler, Claus Ogerman, Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass, Gabor Szabo, and many others. Considered a highly versatile musician, Morell also performed with the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and from 1989-97 he was the percussionist with the “Phantom of the Opera” orchestra in Toronto. In 1998 he moved back to his hometown, NYC, to play the Tony award -winning musical “Ragtime”. After a two-year run on Broadway, he toured nationally with the show. Following that, he did the revival of “Kiss Me Kate” (Tony award for Best Musical revival 2001) and “Suessical: the Musical” starring Cathy Rigby.  Mr. Morell was the drummer with the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra from 2006-12. Currently, he resides in Tampa, Florida and is the Jazz drum set Professor at he the University of Central Florida. Recent performances include, Concerts in Southern Florida, a tour of Japan and he produced and arranged "Enamorada" Michiko Ohta's (Morell) solo CD.here.

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