Birdland Jazz Club to have a Japanese woman band leader on stage After Toshiko Akiyoshi

Birdland Jazz Club is going to have award winning Japanese woman band leader Migiwa Miyajima on stage after Toshiko Akiyoshi who retired in December 2003. The event is scheduled for July 23.

New York – July 19, 2017 – The prestigious Birdland Jazz Club and the whole jazz scene of NYC are all geared for a historic evening this month. For the first time after Maestra Toshiko Akiyoshi’s big band’s last concert in 2003, the club is going to have a Japanese woman band leader on stage. Award winning composer and jazz pianist Migiwa Miyajima has announced to debut at Birdland with her esteemed brand Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra in the last week of the month.

The event is scheduled for July 23, 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm. Doors will be open from 5:00 pm.  

A widely acknowledged band across the international jazz quarters, Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra has got musicians from some of the legendary bands of the world, such as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Christian McBride Big Band etc. 

“We are excited to have a Japanese woman band leader on our stage. After the legendary Maestra Toshiko Akiyoshi, this time around we have the renowned Migiwa Miyajima and her famous band to light up our evening. A much acclaimed name on both sides of the Pacific, she is hailed for her vibrant and soul-stretching compositions. Come July 23, she would be leading a magnanimous 17-piece jazz orchestra,  Miggy Augmented, on Birdland’s elite stage. We are looking forward to the wonderful evening”, smiled a leading spokesperson from Birdland.

Photo Credit: Masa Tsujimura

Performing at Birdland is a dream come true for Migiwa. In her own words- “I remember watching the Grammy ceremony while in my teens. At that time I used to stay in a little Japanese town. Mr. Quincy Jones was on screen with his album ‘Back on the Block’ …there were a lot of sounds recorded at Birdland by Jazz legends. It was like ‘Wow’. The feeling just knocked me out. I felt like- ‘What is this? I want to be a part of this music!!’ But then I realized that I am just a Japanese girl. I felt it will never be possible for me to reach up to that legendary stage. I hid myself and I kept crying. However, destiny had other plans for me. I wish I could go back and tell that little one that her dream would be true.”

Layered in soul-touching tunes, Miyajima’s music echoes the complex yet exciting shades of her own journey. It also talks about the composer’s humanitarian mission to make the world a better place to live in. Interestingly, the pianist did not start off her career in music. She was initially a director of realty ads in Tokyo and have also dabbled in jobs as IT engineers & chief editor of a travel magazine. However, in 2004, she finally decided to leave the mundane 9-6 jobs to follow her passion in music. A highly talented self-taught composer, she earned the recognition of the historic Vanguard Jazz Orchestra after 5 years. The famous band endowed her with the grand responsibility to produce their Japan tour and Miyajima has even been nominated at Grammy Award as Vanguard’s associate producer in 2011 & 2014. In 2012, she received a Japan-US Friendship Commission Fellowship-scholarship and also a scholarship from the Japan government which brought her to NY. She studied with Gammy winning composer Jim McNeely, had worked as his assistant, and was also a member of the BMI jazz composers workshop. In 2014, world leading saxophone player Steve Wilson chose her piece “If I Were a Wind of Spring” for his album and recorded it at the Village Vanguard. It became her US debut as a composer. 

Today, she is a highly acclaimed performer in both Tokyo & New York and has produced beautiful jazzy evenings with painters, floral artists, dancers and so on. 

Hayato Sakurai

After the performance at Birdland, Migiwa Miyajima would record her US debut album (Colorful) at the iconic Manhattan-based Sear Soundstudio with the famous musical engineer Jay Messina, who has worked with legends such as Miles Davis, John Lennon/ Yoko Ono and Rolling Stones.

“I didn’t attend any Music collage and had been in completely different industry in the initial years of my career. Moreover, I am a female and a Japanese national – as we all know Japanese artists are not exactly a majority in this industry. But despite all the challenges, I have always been very dedicated to my endeavors in music. Then, my teammates came to my life and I received new inspiration to make my dreams come true. I would like to become a “HOPE” for all who are looking to realize their dreams and opportunities through this concert and CD.” added Miyajima. 

The ticket fee for the concert is $30 ($10 Minimum for Food or Drinks Per Person). To reserve your tickets, visit or Migiwa Miyajima official website

Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra Band Members: 

Migiwa Miyajima (Composer, Piano)

Saxophones: Ben Kono, Alejandro Aviles Quinsin Nachoff, Sam Dillon , Carl Maraghi

Trombones: John Mosca, Jason Jackson, Jennifer Wharton , Douglas Purviance 

Trumpets: Dan Urness, David Smith Matt Holman, Nadje Noordhuis

Rhythm section: Jared Schonig (drums), Pete McCann(Guitar)

Guest player: Tomoko Nagashima from Orange Pekoe (voice)

Media Contact
Company Name: Miggy Augmented Jazz Orchestra
Contact Person: Naomi Oshiro
Phone: 212-386-7603
City: New York
State: NY
Country: United States