One of the advantages of being a native speaker of English and living in Japan is not only helping people within Smith’s School of English, but also outside the school. So many people here in Japan have helped me in different situations, so it is very satisfying to be able to give something back in any way I can. I have written about this woman before. Her name is Akiko Nakanowatari https://nakanowatari.jimdofree.com/profile-1/, and she is a professional musician based in Tokyo- a certified music therapist, music teacher and professional jazz vocalist. With the entertainment industry taking a hit during these times in Japan, Akiko decided to take on a new project, which I think is her most impressive yet.
She came to me for some help before her recording of “NOLA Voyage,” her latest CD to be released in June. “What is NOLA,” I asked her- New Orleans, Louisiana. So she taught me something right from the beginning. She hand-picked a pool of some of the finest jazz musicians in Tokyo to get that “NOLA” sound. What results are songs from different genres played and sung in the style of New Orleans jazz. It’s fresh. It’s magical, and so original.
Her English Pronunciation is Already Good!
Last February Akiko sang the songs to me for a couple of hours as we fine-tuned her pronunciation. We have done this before for a prior CD https://sse-franchise.com/all-that-jazz-akiko-nakanowatari-nice-pronunciation/, but this time it was much easier because she was well prepared and has gotten so much better. Personally, I cannot imagine trying to sing songs in the Japanese language and obtaining such a marketable product. She’s got it. Her final recording was the following day. Here is a link to her recording session. It’s really cool (about 2 minutes). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yc2QfbuCog
As I said, her CD will be released in June, along with a 28-page booklet this time. She was kind enough to send me a copy of the final product beforehand, and it is fabulous.
NOLA Voyage will be available in CD shops as well as online. You can be sure I’ll put the details out on our Facebook page when the time comes. Congratulations again to Akiko! She always amazes me with her musical talent and competence with the English language.
Thanks for reading! Jim http://smithweb.co.jp/sagamihara/