|Born in Osaka, Japan, Kay began her professional singing and songwriting career after graduating high school. She developed her vocal skills by sharing the stage and recording sessions with some of Japan's most accomplished artists, including Yuming (Yumi Matsutoya), one of the most popular female singer/songwriters in Japan.
In 1991 Kay debuted as a member of the pop group Delta, releasing four CD singles and an album on Mercury Records (Universal Music Entertainment Group). Delta's songs were featured on every major Japanese television network.
In 1999 Kay teamed with Delta's guitarist Neo to form the duo FAKiE. They released three CDs in Japan, earning high praise from music fans -- including jazz listeners and audiophiles -- for their breathtaking performances and the CD's high quality sound. Each album's release was followed by successful tours throughout Japan, from jazz clubs to major concert halls and convention centers.
In August 2006, FAKiE performed at "Imperial Jazz Complex" at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and rode the momentum of that performance into a nationwide tour, including stops in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka, as well as dozens of appearances on national radio programs and TV shows.
In 2007 Kay was awarded a prestigious Artists' Grant from the Japanese Government, allowing her to move to New York City to further develop and share her talent with other musicians. She was also offered a coveted endorsement from professional audio equipment manufacturer Electro-Voice. In 2008 the duo changed its name to K & Neo. Kay's captivating vocals interlace seamlessly with Neo's nylon-string guitar. Her voice -- at times soft and mellow but often exuding great power -- is blessed with an impressive wide range and crystalline tone.
Kay is an endorsee of Electro-Voice
| Kay quickly began making a name for herself following a guest performance at New York City's Birdland, Iridium and a successful solo New York debut at the Kitano New York Jazz Room in November 2009.
In May 2010, she held a special Birthday Concert at the same location and took the audience by storm. There was also a dinner show as K & Neo at the Kitano New York Jazz Room and an appearance at Nublu. Later that year Kay recorded with two-time Grammy award nominee saxophonist Adam Kolker, (Reflections/Sunnyside Records) and was a guest on his subsequent European tour.
She began 2011 with one of her regularly sold-out concerts at Zinc Bar’s “2011 Valentine’s Celebration,” followed by appearances at a number of Benefit Concerts for Japan’s Earthquake/Tsunami relief. In June, she made an appearance as guest soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble at the United Nations, and her acting debut in the Off-Broadway play “It’s a Hardbop Life.” K & Neo's version of "Summertime" -- released on their CD Timeless -- was featured in UNIQLO Clothing's International TV Advertising campaign.
2012 saw Kay returning to Japan for a hugely successful K & Neo concert tour and then back to New York’s Zinc Bar for her first solo concert in two years, performing her original compositions to another sold-out audience. In July, Kay performed at the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival, directed by Broadway Music supervisor/conductor Patrick Vaccariello. She is currently in the process of filming “The Center of the Universe,” (scheduled for release in 2014).
In 2013, Kay became joined the roster of the Metropolitan Room New York City for their Friday night Jazz Series.
Kay Matsukawa Official Website