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Moods: Featuring Piano Jazz: Smooth Jazz Jazz: Jazz Fusion Pop: Piano Moods: Instrumental

By Location
United States - Georgia

Madoca's official website Facebook Fan Page Illusion of love on Spotify Illusion of love on Amazon!


Madoca - Pianist, Producer

Madoca Kawahara a.k.a. MADOCA™ [pronounced "ma-DOO-kuh"] is a world-class keyboardist and composer, Grammy voting member & publisher: ASCAP member, and national recording artist, whose latest release is on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Charts. Her style is a fusion of contemporary/classic jazz, soul, funk, Latin and salsa -- providing musical sustenance for your mind and soul.

Her latest release, “Illusion of Love,” is produced by award-winning producer, Bob Baldwin, and showcases the growth and maturity of this very talented Japanese/American international performer. Her style is smooth, as evidenced in the title track, but it can also heat up and explode on rhythmic songs like "Picadillo" and her sizzling remix of “Jasmine.” On beautiful ballads like "Sentimentally Yours" and "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," she holds her own in an acoustic piano setting

Madoca began studying piano/organ at the age of seven, played through her teenage years, and graduated from the Senzoku Music University in Kawasaki, Japan with a major in composition and piano. She had a 3-day live audition before earning her invitation to the Nemu Music Scholarship Program, where she furthered her studies in jazz piano, jazz theory, ensemble, composition, and arrangement. Her teaching exploits included an Education Partnership Program from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Madoca got her first taste of show business in 1993, when she toured with Japanese national bands and also performed on NHK-TV in Tokyo/Osaka. She performed with several American Jazz/R&B bands in Tokyo, Yokohama and Yokosuka, which included some navy base and NCO club appearances. In 1994, Madoca moved to Hong Kong and from there she performed on world stages in Australia, France, The United Kingdom, and United States of America with several major Chinese artists, including PolyGram recording artists Jacky Chueng and Sandy Lam. Her selection, "I Don't Cry Anymore" was the winner of a contest called Song Writer's Quest, a competition organized by the Composer and Authors Society of Hong Kong.

Prior to moving to the U.S., she performed sideman work for several Asian pop stars. "Music is my Life," Madoca says, and she expresses both her music and her life with passion. In 1998, she began working with The Prince Project, during his tour of Hong Kong with Jason Bryant of the S.O.S. band. For a brief period, they traveled the world as a working unit.

In 2003, Madoca finally made the move to the U.S., where she settled in Atlanta, GA. She formed a band called Madoca & Company, and performed throughout the Atlanta area, including Centennial Olympic Park, Piedmont Park, Grant Park, The Infinite Energy Arena, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, The Fox Theater, City Winery Atlanta and she has played at Philips Arena for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. She has also performed at the Showcase of Atlantis Music Conference and Japan Fest.

Recently, Madoca​ has headlined at Jazz Matters Concert, “Celebrating Women in jazz” at the Wrens Nest, Atlanta GA. Madoca has performed tribute concerts for music legends Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, and Ramsey Lewis. She has also opened for Chris Botti, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliott, India Arie, Jean Carne, and Pamela Williams, to name a select few. She has also worked with Eric Marienthal, Paul Young and All 4 One.

Her musical influences include the aforementioned Hancock, Lewis and Sample, as well as Chick Corea, the Jeff Lorber Fusion, Jimmy Smith, George Duke, Donald Byrd, and Eddie Palmieri -- yet, her style is uniquely her own.

Her previous discs, Mysterious Ways, Amethyst, and her latest, Illusion of Love, are all available at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Her first single “Surrender” is catching fire across the country. "Surrender" was on the Billboard Smooth Jazz “Most Added” list in March 2018 and it was on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart for April & May 2018. Madoca's second single "On the Beach (With You)" has been on the Billboard Smooth Jazz “Most Added” list in August 2018 and it is currently on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart for August, September, October 2018.

CD/ Single Reviews:

If you love smooth jazz with an infusion of traditional jazz piano playing, you will see yourself walking along the ocean shore line dancing to the beat with the one you love, hand in hand. The ocean waves in the beginning put you right in the mood! You've heard the term "ticking the ivories", well Madoca Kawahara is doing this to the "enth"degree! -Sherelle Cary Smith at Smooth Jazz Magazine.

While this name may not ring familiar to many, lovely Japanese keyboardist Madoca Kawahara is no stranger to the industry at all. She actually got her first taste of show business in 1993 when touring with Japanese national bands and also performing on NHK TV in Tokyo/ Osaka. Over the years, she has performed with several American Jazz/R&B bands in Tokyo/Yokohama, Yokosuka, which included some navy base and NCO clubs appearances. In 2003, she finally made the move to the U.S., where she settled in Atlanta, GA.

In addition to her previous discs, Mysterious Ways (2005) and Amethyst (2008), her credits include opening for the late great Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, and the Ramsey Lewis Tribute Concerts. She has also opened for Chris Botti, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliott, India Arie, Jean Carne, and Pamela Williams, to name a select few. So, let’s dismiss the idea that we’re listening to a “new” artist. Rather, we’re experiencing an artist whom some of us may have missed initially, and it is my great pleasure to put her luscious, funky, romantic, sometimes bluesy, full-bodied music to you via this review.

Her latest release Illusion of Love is an auditory beauty not to be missed. Her piano/keys skills literally sing out to you in a way that is sure to prove to be her signature call to all who listen.

The lead track, the attractive and bouncy “Surrender,” sets a definitive tone for what is to follow – sleek, structured, and feel-good contemporary jazz. Other tracks of note include the snappy “On the Bach With You,” a head-bopper with that certain smooth touch that just seems to make everything alright, the sexy and melodic title track that, in some ways, reminds one of the Sade approach; the bluesy “Sentimentally Yours’” and a few quality covers (e.g., Tito Puente’s rhythmic Latin-laced and jazzy “Picadillo”).

With producer/keyboardist/composer Bob Baldwin offering a significant hand in the production and arrangement of this gem (and you can clearly hear his influence throughout the album), I can see Madoca becoming a musical household name rather quickly if she stays with what is obviously a winning formula as evidenced on this album.

There’s oomph, substance, sophistication, and quality to this material. No “assembly line” implications here at all – it’s all authentic, fresh Madoca. This is one to get and certainly an artist to watch. – A++ effort. – Ronald Jackson @ The Smooth jazz ride.

Madoca Kawahara is the real deal and deserves your immediate attention. Distributed by City Sketches Records (Via the Orchard / Sony Red Music digital platform).

Madoca became a Grammy voting member in April, 2018.

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Albums: Illusion of Love, Amethyst, Mysterious ways...