Berklee Summer in the CityManami Morita
Manami Morita was born in Saitama, Japan in 1984. She started off learning classical piano at the age of 4, but she couldn't stand all the rules in classical piano. At the age of 13, she met jazz. After learning on her own, she received a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music in 2005 and decided to change her life—previously, she had thought of being an English teacher or a flight attendant! In 2006 she moved to the United States and started her career at Berklee in Boston to search for her own music, based on jazz.
In 2007, Morita was awarded the Mary Jane Earnhart Endowed Scholarship, and in 2008 she was awarded the Herb Pomeroy Award by the Jazz Composition Department. In 2009, she joined the International Kodolanyi Jazz Competition in Hungary with tenor saxophone player Mitsuru Hirayama and won third prize, as well as the Outstanding Performer Award.
Morita has performed with internationally acclaimed musicians such as Esperanza Spalding, Greg Hopkins, Mark Walker, Rosa Pasos, and Oscar Stagnaro. She appeared at the Martha's Vineyard Music Festival in 2008 with groups such as Boston Pops, Gladys Knight, and Kate Taylor, as well as at other music festivals such as Salem Jazz Festival '08 and '09, Tokyo Jazz '10, Rochester International Jazz Festival '11, etc. She has played at prestigious jazz clubs such as Sculler's Jazz Club, Ryle's Jazz Club, Blue Note Nagoya, Billboard Osaka, and more.
Morita graduated Berklee in 2008 and released her first album, Colors, in 2009 and her second album, For You, in 2010 through Rambling Records, Inc.