Two-time Grammy Award winning clarinetist Richard Stoltzman’s virtuosity, technique, imagination, and communicative power have revolutionized the world of clarinet playing, opening up possibilities for the instrument that no one could have predicted. He was responsible for bringing the clarinet to the forefront as a solo instrument, and is still the world’s foremost clarinetist.
Stoltzman gave the first clarinet recitals in the histories of both the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall, and, in 1986, became the first wind player to be awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. As one of today’s most sought-after artists, Stoltzman has been a soloist with more than a hundred orchestras as well as a recitalist and chamber music performer, innovative jazz artist, and prolific recording artist. A two-time Grammy Award winner, he has amazed critics and audiences alike in repertory spanning many musical genres.
Stoltzman’s talents as a jazz performer as well as a classical artist have been heard far beyond his annual tours. He has performed and recorded with such classical, jazz, and pop greats as Emmanual Az, Yo-Yo Ma, Gary Burton, the Canadian Brass, Chick Corea, Judy Collins, Eddie Gomez, Keith Jarrett, the King’s Singers, George Shearing, Wayne Shorter, Mel Tormé, and Spyro Gyra founder Jeremy Wall. Stoltzman frequently performs with his son Peter John Stoltzman, a talented classical and jazz pianist and composer.
Stoltzman graduated from Ohio State University with a double major in music and mathematics. He earned his Master of Music degree at Yale University while studying with Keith Wilson, and later studied with Kalmen Opperman at Columbia University. He makes his home in Massachusetts and is a passionate Boston Red Sox fan. He is also a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef whose specialty is the Linzer Torte.
Mika Stoltzman, called “High-wire jazz marimbist… an amazing, energetic performer ready for major exposure.” (LA Times) was born in Amakusa Island, Kumamoto, Japan, and now resides in New York City. Since studying at the University of Toronto, Mika has devoted herself to marimba performance and musical studies under the strong influence of the NEXUS. She is also studying Jazz privately with jazz vibe master, Mike Mainieri, in New York, while Steve Gadd has been her producer. “Mika Stoltzman makes the marimba sound so natural within jazz.” (JazzTimes)
Mika released her first album, Mitsue, in 1998, followed up by her second release, Marimba Phase, in 2003 under Monroe Street. In 2010 Mika also released a live DVD, Marimba Madness, which features Gadd, Gomez and Peter John Stoltzman on piano. Mikarimba (Video Art Music, Japan 2010) was produced by drummer Steve Gadd and features bassist Eddie Gomez. Mika has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel & Weill Halls, Tokyo (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), PASIC (2005, 2007), in addition to touring in cities around the world.She premiered John Wyre’s Moonlight for marimba and orchestra with the Kyushu Symphony, and Bill Douglas’s marimba concerto with the Kumamoto Symphony Orchestra. She was also guest soloist in the Kracow Philharmonic in Poland, and Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. Her arrangement and performance of “Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint” appears on Steve Reich’s CD Triple Quartet (Nonesuch).
She has also appeared on Richard Stoltzman’s CD Goldberg Variation (BMG Japan) and Jo Hisaishi’s Asian X.T.C. (Universal Japan). In August, 2011, Mika celebrated sold-out recitals at Blue Note Jazz clubs throughout Japan with her group, MIKARIMBA, featuring Mika on marimba, the legendary Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, and the formidable Stefan Karlsson (piano). In 2012, Mika celebrated a sold-out recital at Carnegie Weill Hall in NYC. Mika performed 8 world premiere pieces with Richard Stoltzman, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez and Mike Mainieri (vibraphone). In September, Mika performed at the World Heritage Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, Japan with Richard Stoltzman and Duke Gadd (drums). She then joined with Eddie Gomez and the four completed a successful Japan tour.
On May 30th, Mika celebrated another sold-out recital at Carnegie Weill Hall performing World Premiere works by John Zorn, Bill Douglas, Steve Reich, William Thomas McKinley, and Chick Corea’s new arrangements with Richard Stoltzman, Gayle Moran Corea, Harlem String Quartet, David Finck (bass), Bill Cahn (per), Bill Pihl (piano), and Duke Gadd, with a special guest appearance by Chick Corea.
Mika’s guest performance of Chick Corea’s Piano Concerto No.1 on Marimba (World Premiere) with Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Mexico conducted by Langranco Marchlletti on Sep 1st was a great success.
In December, Mika released her second album with MIKARIMBA produced by Steve Gadd, “If You Believe,” with Richard Stoltzman, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, John Tropea (guitar), Duke Gadd, and the Harlem String Quartet. Mika, Steve Gadd, and John Tropea completed a successful 5-city Japan Release Tour the same month.
“Mika Stoltzman is beyond category, to use Duke Ellington’s signature compliment, and she proves it here” (All About Jazz)