Salem Jazz and Soul FestivalAnimal Zoo featuring Manami Morita
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Manami Morita, a native of Saitama, Japan, started playing classical piano at age 4. At the time, she hated piano lessons because she wasn't attracted to classical piano. She loved to play but wanted more musical freedom. At 13, Morita discovered jazz and became addicted, even learning improvisation on her own. She was recently awarded the Mary Jane Earnhart Endowed Scholarship. Morita has performed with acclaimed musicians such as Esperanza Spalding, Greg Hopkins, Mark Walker, Rosa Passos, and Oscar Stagnaro.
Washington D.C. native Randy Runyon began playing guitar at the age of 11. He grew up listening to bands like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix. He discovered a love for jazz during high school and began studying with Baltimore great Carl Filipiak. Since enrolling at Berklee, Runyon has performed with Terri Lyne Carrington at the Blue Note and Iridium Jazz Clubs in New York; with greats such as Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, and Joe Lovano; and with Tiger Okoshi at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Thailand Jazz Conference in Bangkok, the IAJE convention in New York, and the International Trumpet Guild in Alberta, Canada. Performing with Randy is his band, Animal Zoo, whose music.