東京都出身、NYを拠点に演奏活動をするジャズボーカリスト、作曲家。
4歳より自らピアノを弾き始め、クラッシックピアノのレッスンを受け卓越した音感を身に付け、ハワイアン音楽、洋楽ポップスなど幅広い音楽に触れながらオープンな音楽センスを培う。高校、大学時代よりロック、R&B、ポップス、ハウス、など多様なジャンルでボーカル活動に携わる傍ら、世界の珍しい国々を旅し、壮大な景色の数々と多様な生音楽に触れる。後にジャズに出会い、洗練されたハーモニー、即興の素晴らしさに目覚め、2003年に渡米。ニューヨーク、シティカレッジ音楽部ジャズ科に編入し、シーラ・ジョーダン、ジョン・パティトゥッチ、マイク・ホロバー、レイ・サントス、スコット・リーブス、レイ・ギャロンらに師事、ジャズボーカル、即興法、理論、ジャズ/ラテンアンサンブル演奏、ジャズピアノ、声楽、作曲等幅広く吸収、2007年に最優秀で卒業。
在学中よりハーレムに在住し経験豊富なジャズミュージシャンとセッションを重ねレコーディング、演奏活動を行い、2007年にはニューヨークジャズシーンの最前線で活躍する若手有能なミュージシャンを従え制作したミニアルバム「With A Song In My Heart」を発表、バンドと呼応する高い即興能力を示しつつ、暖かい歌声による和らいだサウンドを実現。
以降、akemiはそれまで培ったジャズの伝統スタイル、ビバップを土台にしてニューヨーク的な多国籍サウンド(都会派近代ジャズ、ブラジリアン、ゴスペル、ポップス、クラッシック、日本の歌謡曲や伝統メロディ等)を取り入れ、人間性をも反映する独自なジャズのスタイル"Dreamy Jazz"を模索する。スタンダード曲のアレンジや、オリジナル曲の作曲などにとり組みつつ、引き続きニューヨークのジャズクラブ、レストラン等で勢力的にライブ活動を継続。2009年3月にはニューヨーク/ニュージャージのラジオ88.7FMの番組"The Jazz Life"で、自作の曲 「My Journey -Ta Bi Ji-」とライブインタビューが放送される。
2013年9月には名門ジャズクラブJazz at Kitanoに初出演しブラジリアンジャズ界の一人者、Helio Alves(エリオ・アルベス)と共演を果たす。
また、2008年11月 にはMerkin Concert Hallにて日本オペラ" En Saga"の第2主役で出演、
2008年1月よりハーレムの教会の聖歌隊でメンバー及びソロイストとして定期出演、2009年から2013年ニュージャージーの音楽学校Bergen Academy of Music and Arts にてボーカル講師を勤める、などニューヨークにて幅広い音楽キャリアを積んでいる。
現在は自身のオリジナル曲を含む"Dreamy Jazz"サウンドを紹介する ミニアルバム「Ta Bi Ji」(仮タイトル)を製作中、11月の日本ツアーにむけてリリース予定。
Akemi Yamada ( stage name “akemi”) is a native of Tokyo, Japan, and was raised in a musical family, surrounded by classical music, Japanese and American pop, and Hawaiian music. At the age of 4, she became keen on playing piano like her elder sister, and studied classical piano privately for 10 years. This early exposure to broad range of music helped Akemi develop open ears and excellent musicianship. Initiating her singing career in a broad range of music from rock to R&B, she gained B.A. in Political Science at Gakushuin University, and traveled all over the world, such as Europe, Africa, South America, South-East Asia, India, South Pacific, Australia, and Antarctica to broaden her horizon. Subsequently, her passion in music shifted to jazz, inspired by its beauty of harmony and improvisation. Akemi relocated to the United States in 2003 to pursuit BFA degree in jazz vocal performance at the City College of New York, where she received Israel E. Drabkin Memorial Award, Pro-Musica Award, and the full scholarship for CIM (Center of Improvisational Music) workshop, and graduated in 2007 Summa Cum Laude. As well as having professional training on jazz vocal performance by legendary Sheila Jordan, and classical vocalist Janet Steele, she studied music theory, jazz harmony and improvisation, composition, and jazz piano, with notable musicians including John Patitucci, Mike Holober, Ray Santos, John Motley, Scott Reeves, and Ray Gallon.

Living in Harlem and jamming with established jazz musicians, Akemi gradually became known as “musicians' singer” for her superb musicianship. In 2007, she recorded her first solo album “With A Song In My Heart” with the leading musicians in the New York jazz scene, and showed her outstanding improvisational skill. Akemi keeps evolving her own approach to jazz singing. While being based on traditional jazz (influenced by Carmen McRae, Chet Baker, and Clifford Brown), she has established her own vocabulary in her singing, improvisation, and writing (arrangements and compositions). Akemi’s music incorporates melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic essence of various music she had been living with, such as contemporary jazz, world jazz, jazz-house, Japanese traditional music, classical music, gospel, and Japanese pop. Spicing up with her own taste “warm and dreamy”, she has been performing "Akemi's dreamy jazz" actively in the New York City, involving her unique arrangement of jazz / bossa-nova / MPB standards, and her own compositions, while also keeping her basic, singing straight-ahead(traditional) jazz, depending on the occasions. The musicians she performed with include Helio Alves, Pete McCann, Greg Ryan, Franco Pinna, Renato Thoms, Matteo Sabattini, Quincy Davis, Toru Dodo, Tal Ronen, Ray Gallon, Joseph Lepore, Randy Napoleon, Chuck Stevens, Ronald Lashley, and Alex Pryrodny. The venues she performed at include Jazz at Kitano, Drom, The Triad, Shrine World Music Venue, Somethin' Jazz Club, Blue Owl Cocktail Room, Tomi Jazz, Domaine Bar A Vins, and Columbia University, as well as numbers of private events and cooperate parties. She curated and performed a jazz event for the City College of Technology in Brooklyn (2007). She made a first appearance on a radio in March 2009 for the show “The Jazz Life” at 88.7FM (New York / New Jersey), celebrating “Woman In Jazz Month”, where she was interviewed live and her own composition and her signature song "My Journey -Ta Bi Ji-" was air-played. Akemi started touring in Japan since 2009 and has performed in the number of well-known jazz clubs, such as "Sometime" in Tokyo.

Akemi is also a versatile singer. She has also been exposed to other genres by singing for the following projects: a lead singer for a composer Ronald Lashley’s Caribbean/Brazilian fusion band “Bossa Lyfe” (2005), member and a solo singer in female vocal ensembles “Las Sirenas” and “Aedea”, involving the repertories of European / Asian traditional and contemporary choral music (2003-2006), second principal singer for Harmonia Opera Company with the rendition of a Japanese opera “En Saga” at Merkin Concert Hall (2008), "Voices of Grace" a choir section leader and a soloist at Grace Congregational Church of Harlem which involved a series of Negro Spirituals(antique Gospel songs) and standard sacred songs (2008 to current), section leader for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church choir in the Bronx (2008), and section leader for the choir at First Moravian Church in Manhattan performing Bach choral music.