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She was born in Osaka. Her parents bought her a small organ when she was three and she started learning to play standards. At high school, she listened to Hammond B3 players including Jimmy Smith, then Charles Earland, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
A graduate of the Osaka College of Music, she has resided in New York City since 2001. After moving to the US, she had lessons from Lonnie Smith.
- Harlem Dreams (2004, M & I)
- Sweet and Funky (2006, M & I; 2007, 18th & Vine)
- St. Louis Blues (2008, Mojo)
- Oriental Express (2009, 18th & Vine)
- NYC Serenade (2010, Mojo)
- Sakura (2011, 1-2-3-4 GO; 2012, American Showplace Music)
- Commencement (2014, Somethin' Cool; AT Records)
- Pelham Parkway by Kevin Golden Trio (2016, Kevin Golden Productions)
- So Cute, So Bad with Jeff Hamilton and Graham Dechter (2017, Somethin' Cool; AT Records)
- Pride & Joy by Lioness [all female group] (2019, Posi-Tone Records)
- Equal Time with Jeff Hamilton and Graham Dechter (2019, Capri Records)
- Milkowski, Bill (February 2018). "Akiko Tsuruga – Extending the Tradition". DownBeat. p. 28.
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