Yoko Nakatani – President & Director

 She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Osaka College of Music in Japan, a Master of Music degree at the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. degree at Brandeis University in Music Composition and Theory. In the spring of 2004, her dissertation piece, “Hisakatano” for mezzosoprano and chamber ensemble was performed at Brandeis University. She is the recipient of Ira Gershwin Prize in Music Composition in 2005 at Brandeis University. Ms. Nakatani gave a recital with pianist, Shizuyo Le Nestour in Japan in September 2010 as well as in Belgium in October 2011, all based on her original compositions. Her first CD, “Résonance Poétique” is based on the recording from the recital in Japan. She was commissioned to orchestrate one movement from “Hisakatano,” and was performed by the orchestra at the Governor’s School of North Carolina in July 2016. She is the founder of the non-profit organization, Vivace Inc. Ms. Nakatani studied with Yehudi Wyner, Martin Boykan, David Rakowski, Robert Kyr, and Kathryn Alexander.

Official website https://yokonakatani.com/

William Silvio – Treasurer & Director

 Jazz saxophonist William Silvio resides in Boston, Massachusetts where he is an Associate Professor at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music. He is an active performer in the Boston area and has also performed throughout Europe and Japan, participating in the North Sea and Montreux jazz festivals among others. He has appeared with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Abe Laboriel, John Faddis, Eddie Daniels, Ramsey Lewis, Billy Pierce, George Garzone, and Joe Lovano. Mr. Silvio’s live jazz performances in Tokyo in 2014 and 2015 were very successful. His first album “I Had That Dream Again” includes his original compositions and standard numbers.

Official website http://williamsilvio.com/

Lucia Finotto – Director

 Lucia Finotto has recently completed a Ph.D. program at Brandeis University. She came to the academia after several years of professional experience as a translator in Milan, Italy. She received a BA in Translation and Interpretation from the Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies (S.S.I.T), Milan -Italy, an MA in Medical and Pharmaceutical Translation and one in Comparative Literatures from Italian institutions, as well as an MA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. She taught and lectured on the cultural history of Judaism and Islam at several venues in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Germany, Mexico and the United States. Her research examines the role of Jews of the medieval Mediterranean in the transmission of philosophical and scientific ideas from the Islamic world to Western Europe. She has also worked and presented on anti-Jewish violence in the medieval world and the origins of anti-Semitism. Besides her native Italian, Lucia’s working languages include Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Latin and Spanish. She currently lives in the wine region of Oltrepo’ Pavese, not far from Milan, Italy.

Shizuyo Le Nestour – Clerk & Director

 Shizuyo Le Nestour was born in Nara, Japan. She received a Master of Arts in Piano Performance from the Osaka College of Music in Japan and a concert artist diploma from the École Normale de Musique de Paris by unanimous consent. She has received many awards, including Rosita Lopes Communion and Rosa Sabatel at the Santiago de Compostela International Music Academy in Spain. Also, she received prizes at the Henri Sauget International Music Competition in France and at the Paris International Chamber Music Competition.She was invited to Berklee College of Music to give a lecture and solo piano recital in Spring 2010 and Fall 2011.Her new CD, “Shizuyo in Boston, 2010” is based on the compositions that were submitted for her recital at Berklee in 2010. She gave a solo piano recital in Kyoto, Japan in spring 2014, and was invited to Ogose, Saitama (near Tokyo) to give a solo recital in spring 2016.  Ms. Le Nestour is a pianist, poet and expert in French vocal technique. She is a resident of Paris, France.

Official website http://shizuyoreyne.com/

Nagi Okamoto

 Nagi Okamoto was born in the Kouchi city of Kouchi prefecture in Japan on April 3rd, 1986. She started playing piano at the age of three. Nagi acquired her basic musical skills through playing classical piano when she was very young. She had been played at concerts and competitions held by Yamaha Music School. 

 She started playing the tenor saxophone at 13, and joined Tosa Junior High School Brass Band and started playing as a soloist in the band. She grown up her musical skills through the activity of the band and also started teaching music for the members regardless to the instrument. When she was 16, she started conducting and leading the band to win the junior high school brass band’s national competition in Japan. She experienced numerous of performance with the band during her junior and high school days by joining and organizing many events and concerts.

 After graduating high school, she attended Koyo Conservatory Kobe. She had been learning jazz and improvisational music with Eichirou Arasaki and Randall Conners, also she was consecutively performing with Grammy nominated jazz guitarist Mike Stern in his masterclass through 2007 to 2009.

 Nagi started her professional career at the age of 20. At the time, she was already performing in venues around west side of Japan with various professional musicians. In 2008, she graduated Koyo Conservatory at the top of her class. After graduating the school, she had been supporting many bands as a professional musician to develop her musical career. 

 2010, she entered Berklee College of Music with scholarships. During the college years, she had been learning with highly acclaimed musicians such as Grammy-award winning saxophonist Fred Lipsius who is known as a member of Blood, Sweat and Tears, also saxophonist for Simon and Garfunkel.

 In March 2013, she moved her base to New York City, since then she joined various bands such as the New York Funkiest band founded by Papa Guyo Guyocious “DAYS OF WILD”, Artistic performance group founded by Willard Mogan “Ideal Orkestra”, an international singer songwriter Ruco founded the band “Ruco and Family Cat’s” as a main sax player for all of these three bands.

 Also she has been performing at various venue such as Blue Note New York, Jazz Standard, B.B.King Blues Club, The Red Rion, Starving Artist Cafe, Whynot Jazz Club, Somethin’ Jazz Club, Lanza’s, CHoGA, Bitter End, Tomi Jazz Club and more venues in New York  area.

Official website  https://www.nagiokamoto.com/

Tsukasa Nakayama

 She received Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Composition. She began playing piano at age 6, and moved to the U.S. at age 19. Studied under Yoko Nakatani. After graduating from college, she worked for a semiconductor equipment manufacturer. As a field application engineer, she worked for 7 years in Japan and 3 years in the U.S. She started her career as a VIVACE member in January 2023. Currently resides in Tokyo.