picture of Akiko Tsuruga
 
 
Akiko Tsuruga
New York City based Hammond organist and pianist, Akiko Tsuruga, has established herself as an 'in demand' player since arriving from her hometown of Osaka, Japan in 2001.
 
Akiko began organ lessons at age three, and starting performing professionally throughout Japan after graduating from Osaka College of Music. While performing in Japan, she met and played with many noted American musicians, Roy Hargrove, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Grady Tate to name a few. She credits Grady Tate as being the biggest influence in her career. He played on her debut CD, "Harlem Dreams" and encouraged her to move to New York.
 
After arriving in New York, Akiko established herself as one of the area’s top organist/pianists. Her trio featuring guitarist Eric Johnson and drummer Vincent Ector has been one of the area’s top groups, working at many jazz nightclubs including Dizzy’s (at Lincoln center) and The Blue Note. Her trio also plays private parties and summer outdoor concerts. Her long awaited debut CD, "Harlem Dreams" featuring Grady Tate and Frank Wess was released in Japan on the M&I Company label on May 19, 2004.
 
Akiko’s CD is so popular in Japan she has returned twice to perform. Her CD release tour in August 2004 featured Grady Tate on drums and guitarist Satoshi Inoue. In September 2005, she returned to Japan with guitarist Eric Johnson and drummer Fukushi Tainaka. It was this trip that caught the eyes and ears of Hammond Suzuki officials. The group was invited to the factory and Mr. Suzuki personally awarded her a Hammond XK-3 organ and endorsement.
 
2007 was an especially fruitful year for Akiko. Highlights included performances with the Lou Donaldson Quartet at Birdland, the Village Vanguard, and Carnegie Hall. She also performed at various jazz festivals and on jazz cruises throughout the US. "Sweet and Funky", Akiko's first release in the US and Canada and her second in Japan, has been receiving rave reviews. It has reached #13 on the jazz radio charts and received a four-star review and one of the "Best CD’s of 2007" from Downbeat magazine. Akiko received Swing Journal Magazine’s New Star Award, a first for an organist.
contact: akikojazz@gmail.com
homepage: www.akikojazz.com
myspace myspace.com/akikotsuruga
on tour Click on the logo to see Akiko's tour dates.

 

Discography
Harlem Dreams
M & I Jazz MYCJ 30264
recorded December 2003 in New York City/USA
Akiko Tsuruga, organ
Frank Wess, flute
Grady Tate, drums
Sweet And Funky
M & I Jazz MYCJ 30405
recorded August 2006 in USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Eric Johnson, guitar
Vince Ector, drums
Wilson "Chembo" Corniel, percussion
St. Louis Blues
Mojo Records XQCM-1302
recorded 2007 in USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Houston Person, tenor sax
Bernard Purdie, drums
Eric Johnson, guitar
Vince Ector, drums
Oriental Express
Showplace Records
recorded April 2008 in USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Jerry Weldon, tenor sax
Rudy Petschauer, drums
Eric Johnson, guitar
Wilson "Chembo" Corniel, percussion
NYC Serenade
Mojo Records XQCM-1313
recorded May/June 2008 in New York City/USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax
Jimmy Cobb, drums
Eric Johnson, guitar
Sakura
no label
recorded April 2011 in Dover. NJ/USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Jerry Weldon, tenor sax
Joe Magnarelli, trumpet, flugelhorn
Bob deVos, guitar
Rudy Petschauer, drums
Commencement
AT Records
recorded March 2014 in Paramus, NJ/USA
Akiko Tsuruga, Hammond B-3 organ
Jeff Hamilton, drums
John Hart, guitar
Pelham Parkway
no label
recorded 2016 in USA
Kevin Golden, guitar
Akiko Tsuruga, organ
Peter Grant, drums
So Cute, So Bad
no label
recorded January 2017 in San Pedro, CA/USA
Akiko Tsuruga, organ
Graham Dechter, guitar
Jeff Hamilton, drums
Equal Time
Capri Records 74160

Akiko Tsuruga, organ
Graham Dechter, guitar
Jeff Hamilton, drums

 
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