Kimiko Kasai (born December 15, 1945 in Kyoto, Japan) is a retired Japanese jazz singer. She is now a jewelry designer.
Kimiko went to Tokyo in 1964, and became a featured member of pianist Yuzuru Sera's group. Kasai is referred to by her nickname of "Kemeco", also a song on one of her earliest recorded works, "The Modern Playing Mate" by Yuzuru Sera Trio Introducing Kimiko Kasai from 1968 (and recently reissued on compact disc in Japan).
Kimiko first album as a solo artist was entitled "Just Friends" in 1970. After that time, she recorded many albums in collaboration with some of the most renowned musicians in the jazz field, such as Billy Higgins,Mal Waldron,Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Oliver Nelson, and Herbie Hancock. Kimico recorded many jazz albums, though her later albums were more a mix of jazz fusion, smooth jazz, pop, and West Coast AOR. She recorded mostly in English, though she recorded several albums in Japanese ("Umbrella", "Tokyo Special", and "Perigo A Noite"). Many of her early jazz recordings remain in print in Japan, being re-released with modern day technologies (i.e., compact disc, SACD, blu-spec disc).
In her personal life, Kimiko has been married to drummer Hiroshi Murakami, as well as to Richard Rudolph, the former husband of the late Minnie Riperton. Richard Rudolph is famous as the composer of "Loving You", as well as producing recordings by Minnie Riperton, Teena Marie and Kimiko herself.
Kimiko recorded for Columbia Records/Sony from approximately 1971-1985. She released one synth-pop album "Perigo A Noite" on Eastworld/Toshiba in 1987, and her last recording to date was a self-titled pop and R&B/new jack swing flavored release on Kitty Records/Polydor in 1990.
Kimiko lives in Los Angeles, and is a jewelry designer.
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