B i o g r a p h y
Megumi Takeno is an expressive and versatile singer who brings excitement to the audience.
Vocalist, keyboardist, composer, and educator, Megumi grew up in the western part of Japan where she began piano lessons at the age of five and vocal lessons at the age of fifteen. She later performed as a singer and pianist in the live music scene in the Kansai area.
Her repertoire ranges from classical to jazz/ bossanova, ambient, pop, rock, R&B, and sparkling up-tempo rhythms to the hushed intensity of sensitive ballads. She has a clever vocal technique, impeccable timing and expertise in telling a story with depth and warmth. She is influenced by many singers for whom she has great respect: Luther Vandross, Oleta Adams, India Arie, Sade, Julia Fordham, Gretchen Parlato, Luciana Souza, Carolyn Perteete, and Jazmine Sullivan.
She took private vocal lessons from the legendary singing coach Seth Riggs, as well as a vocal coach of American top artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Natalie Cole, and the stars from American Idol in Los Angeles and the opportunity led her to a strong desire to move to the United States to improve her musical skills. She performed with numerous jazz ensembles that included several well-known jazz musicians such as Rufus Reid, Adi Yeshaya, and Grammy Award Winner Ralph Lalama. She has performed with the World Vocal Ensemble, as well as in other choirs while pursuing her music degree. After graduation, she has sung as a member of the Minnesota Chorale, ranked among the top professional choruses in the United States and named principal chorus of the Grammy winning Minnesota Orchestra, at various venues, including Orchestra Hall, Ted Mann Concert Hall, Northrop Memorial Auditorium, and Landmark Center in twin cities.
Before coming to the United States, Megumi had her own piano studio in Japan, where she taught classical piano between beginner and advance students. She also maintained a voice studio where she taught both private and group lessons. Currently, she teaches classical piano and voice where she is comfortable in a variety of musical genres including pop, R&B, jazz and classical.
As a keyboardist, she was a member of a pit band for 2012 The Musical!. She also played with Lori Dokken as an accompanist.
Megumi's singing and musical skills are enriched by formal musical training: she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts focused on classical vocal performance from the classical conservatory, Osaka College of Music in Japan, and a Bachelor of Music focused on contemporary vocal performance with highest honors, summa cum laude, from McNally Smith College of Music in Minnesota, where she received the Diamond Award Scholarship and awarded the President's List for maintaining a 3.9 GPA and above. She also attended numerous workshops and master classes by internationally known musicians such as Theo Bleckmann, Tower of Power, Antonio Sanchez, Ari Hoenig, and Sean Jones.
She is currently a freelance vocalist in Western MA/ Eastern NY area.