Born in Japan to musical parents, Tomoko Ozawa grew up listening to classical music and spent much of her childhood on stage, singing in and accompanying choirs, performing in piano competitions, and playing clarinet in school bands.
She began studying classical piano at the age of six, spending three years as a teenager in England where she studied under Belinda Mikhail and Vanessa Latarche, the head of keyboard at the Royal College of Music. While attending International Christian University in Tokyo to study political science and international law, she found herself fascinated with Jazz and motivated to find her own voice in music.
In 2011, Tomoko relocated to Boston, Massachusetts to attend Berklee College of Music where she studied under Vadim Neselovskyi and Alain Mallet. While an injury to the hand due to overuse prevented her from focusing exclusively on performance, she saw this as an opportunity to focus on composition and singing. Studying classical composition under Apostolos Paraskevas inspired her to set the poetry of Emily Dickinson to music, which is now a main theme in her work. In the summer of 2013, she formed the Tomoko Ozawa group with fellow musicians from Berklee, and began performing in Boston.
Her premier album “Gentian” (2015), produced by Vadim Neselovskyi, accentuates the insightful words of Emily Dickinson with instrumental compositions and improvisation. The music from “Gentian” has been featured by an internet radio, “Virginia Music”, in Holland, “Earbits Radio” in the U.S., and a music podcast show “Eppy Gibbon music” in the U.K.
She has performed at Jazz venues in Boston such as Ryles Jazz Club, Lilypad, The Beat Brasserie, The Beehive, Outpost 186, and was the guest artist at the annual conference of the Emily Dickinson International Society in August 2015.
Tomoko is currently a piano accompanist at Boston Conservatory, Boston Ballet, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre and Dance Complex, while pursuing her master’s degree in Modern American Music at Longy School of Music of Bard College.
"Tomoko Ozawa is a fresh voice from Japan, whose music combines lyricism with European contemporary classical music and rhythmic elements of Jazz. Her recent project of setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson to music is truly original and is an utterly fitting project for this talented pianist/singer. Listening to her sound, you could think that Dickinson's words were intended as lyrics for Miss Ozawa's scores."
Alain Mallet, Pianist/composer/producer/professor at Berklee College of Music