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Shoko Igarashi BE

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Niente
rutger@niente.be
Shoko Igarashi was born in 1991 in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. An accomplished tenor saxophonist, she is also a versatile flautist and plays alto and soprano saxophone fluently. She has already made her mark as both an arranger and a composer.

Shoko grew up surrounded by dreamlike landscapes of abundant nature in the snowy countryside of Tsuruoka, a mysterious and surreal region renowned for producing the best quality rice in Japan, where she says, “the water and the air feel the purest," and where mountains and shrines overflow with ancient mysticism. After beginning her musical career in Tokyo, she attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree of music. She then relocated to Brooklyn, New York where she began regularly performing live alongside innumerable talented jazz musicians. In 2018, she moved to Brussels, Belgium and founded the group Maniac Maison with her partner, pianist Casimir Liberski, and guitarist Lucien Fraipont.

Since 2018, Shoko has written and compiled a series of well-crafted, colorful electronic songs curating diverse influences such as Sly & the Family Stone, Earth Wind & Fire, Japanese City-Pop, '70s jazz fusion, and the anime film music that she grew up learning to play. Her nimble and seamless assembly of these very different elements into her unique sound is astonishingly natural. As Fievel Is Glauque bandleader and keyboardist Zach Phillips has it, "slowing down and transcribing Shoko's ad hoc improvisations on my own music has taught me as much as any masterclass. Her tonal intuition and micro-attention to detail are completely outrageous."

In addition to her primary group Maniac Maison, Shoko is working with Belgian synth-pop band Telex’s founding member and producer Dan Lacksman on her first official solo EP, which is planned for a worldwide release in the fall of 2020.