Kimiko Kasai

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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,[1] Mal Waldron,[2] Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Oliver Nelson, and Herbie Hancock. Kimiko recorded numerous jazz albums, though her later albums were more a mix of jazz fusion, smooth jazz, pop, and West Coast AOR. Although she recorded mostly in English, she has 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, widower of the late Minnie Riperton and father of comedian Maya Rudolph. Richard Rudolph is famous for composing "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 with her husband Richard Rudolph, and is a jewelry designer.


  • 1968: The Modern Playing Mate: Yuzuru Sera Trio introducing Kimiko Kasai
  • 1970: Just Friends
  • 1971: Yellow Carcass in the Blue: with Kosuke Mine Quartet
  • 1971: One for Lady: Kimiko Kasai & Mal Waldron
  • 1971: Yellow Carcass in the Blue
  • 1972: Satin Doll: Kimiko Kasai with Gil Evans
  • 1972: Umbrella: Works of Hiroshi Kamayatsu
  • 1973: What’s New
  • 1974: In Person (with Oliver Nelson)
  • 1974: Kimiko Is Here: with Cedar Walton Trio
  • 1975: This Is My Love
  • 1976: We Can Fall in Love
  • 1977: Tokyo Special
  • 1978: Round and Round
  • 1979: Butterfly: Kimiko Kasai with Herbie Hancock
  • 1982: Kimiko
  • 1984: Love Talk
  • 1984: New Pastel
  • 1985: Watching You
  • 1985: My One and Only Love
  • 1987: Perigo a Noite
  • 1990: Kimiko


  1. ^ Zade, Wayne. ""From Soul to Spirit, Spirit to Soul": Billy Higgins on Jazz and Japan". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  2. ^ "Mal Waldron Catalog". Retrieved 2010-05-16.

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