Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani’s deep love for nature inspires her to transform her vision into musical stories. Her mostly-programmatic music results from the inspiration evoked by her surroundings interweaved with her perspectives and imagination. Kakitani’s projects span jazz big bands, orchestras, chamber ensembles, soloists, and collaborations with choreographers. Kakitani was described as “[a] musical impressionist and supreme colorist” (Hot House Magazine) and her music as “the overflowing world of inspirational melody” (DownBeat Magazine) and “absolutely superb” (All About Jazz). Kakitani’s 2013 debut record, Bloom, was acknowledged as one of the year’s best debut albums by DownBeat Magazine Critics’ Poll and NPR Music Jazz Critics’ Poll. As an advocate of original music, Kakitani co-founded the Twin Cities Jazz Composers’ Workshop and Inatnas Orchestra after relocating to MN in 2016. Kakitani has been the recipient of grants, fellowships, and awards, including the McKnight Composer Fellowship, the Jerome Fund for New Music Grant from the American Composers Forum, Composer Assistance Grants from the American Music Center, the BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, the Manny Albam Commission, Brooklyn Arts Council Grant, Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative and Creative Support Grants, and was a finalist for the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. 


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