Chiemi Nakai

Ascendant (Music Roots Records)

In 1998, Chiemi Nakai moved to New York City to study at Queens College, earning an M.A. Jazz performance. Since 2000, she has played with many Salsa bands in NY and toured Europe with the “New York All-Stars Band,” including Dave Valentin (fl), Jimmy Bosch (tb), and Giovanni Hidalgo (congas). After the impact in the U.S. of Buena Vista Social Club, she began to play Afro-Cuban music exclusively. She started her own band and performed in venues such as the Blue Note, Subrosa, and Jazz at Kitano. She released her first CD “bridges” in 2008, the second CD “Transformation” in 2013 and her third CD “Ascendant” in 2019.

Out Now
Listen Now Visit Artist's Website


Piano, key Chiemi Nakai
Alto sax Alejandro Aviles(2,6)
Flute Alejandro Aviles(5,7)
Tenor sax Justin Flynn(3)
Vocal Mari Koga(4)
Bass Carlo De Rosa(1,2,3,4,6)
Ruben Rodriguez(5,7)
Drums Joel E. Mateo(1,5,7)
Juan Felipe Mayorga(2,4,6)
Vince Cherico(3)
Congas Wilson Chembo Corniel(5,7)
Cajon Rafael Monteagudo(4)
Guiro Wilson Chembo Corniel(5)

Recorded at Soundworks Recording Studio (Engineer: Kamilo Kratc)

Track Listing

  1. Your spirit in the sky with hawks (Music by Chiemi Nakai)
  2. I will meet you again (Music by Chiemi Nakai)
  3. Ascendant (Music by Chiemi Nakai)
  4. Volver (Music and Lyrics by Chiemi Nakai)
  5. Monk's Mood (Arranged by Chiemi Nakai)
  6. You don't know what love is (Arranged by Chiemi Nakai)
  7. Noche Especial (Music by Chiemi Nakai)

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz