Introducing: Yoko La Japonesa Salsera
By Angel Ortiz
From Osaka to New York City, Yoko is back and ready to fire up the dance floor with two HOT new singles. Both tracks are a dancer's delight, backed-up by her super talented band. Her musical director, Willie Ruiz, made sure Yoko didn't skip a beat on this new production. Track "La Japonesa Llego" is salsa dura, dance-driven, and get up off your seat/can't miss tune. "Arigato Salsa" not only introduces you to her native language, Japanese, but also in keeping with killer arrangements done by Mr. Willie Ruiz. Having collaborated with notable famous artists such as Johnny Pacheco (founder of Fania Records), Chino Nunez, Frankie Morales, Ray Sepulveda, and others,
Yoko has without a doubt secured a place in Salsa where few woman have traveled. She will be sharing the Lincoln Center Outdoor Stage on July 10th with The Mambo Legends Orchestra and Cita Rodriguez in a tribute to honor another great singer known as "La Lupe".
SALSEEK's Angel Ortiz caught up with Yoko in New York City for a quick chat on her new singles and the salsa scene in Japan.
SALSEEK: You have two exciting new singles coming to the market. Tell us the titles of the songs and when we can expect to purchase them
YOKO: One song is titled "La Japonesa Salsera Llegó" which is a very danceable tune. And another one is called "Arigato Salsa" with lyrics in Japanese. They are available online now at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/yoko1
SALSEEK: One of the singles is sung in Japanese. Tell us a little about that and how you think the public will respond
YOKO: I have no idea but so far I like it. I think this is the easiest CORO in Japanese you can find in many salsa songs! I hear some salsa not in Spanish and people like it. I also had a lot of requests from DJs and Fans!
SALSEEK: Your first CD called "La Japonesa Salsera" was well received and distributed in 2008. When will your second full CD be available and how do you feel about your next production?
YOKO: Next album I am planning to release in 2013. It will be a great production. I will have a great composer and arranger from Puerto Rico also as well as my team in NYC
SALSEEK: Who are some of the great recording artists you have collaborated with over the course of your career in Salsa?
YOKO: Johnny Pacheco, Chino Nunez, Frankie Morales, and Ray Sepulveda to name a few.
SALSEEK: When you are home, what music do you listen to?
YOKO: Salsa!! and I like Bob Marley. I listen to a lot of different music.
SALSEEK: Tell us at least one of the wonderful things about your native country Japan
YOKO: Beautiful seasons, food, neatness, organized...... Discipline!
SALSEEK: What's the current state of Salsa music and dance in Japan?
YOKO: It is becoming bigger and bigger compared to the time when I lived in Japan. Dancers have improved extremel and now I hope the music improves too. And one day I would like to see the sub genre "Japanese Salsa"
SALSEEK: Where can we go to read more about you Yoko? Website? Facebook? Twitter?
YOKO: On my Website:Yokosalsa.com and on facebook/yokosalsa or you can follow me on Twitter @yokolajaponesa
SALSEEK: Yoko, you actually used the same members of your band for the recording of your latest production. What can you tell us about the members of your band?
YOKO: They are all great musicians in NYC, working with top bands like Spanish Harlem Orchestra, 8yMas, and Mambo Legends to name a few. And they are the ones that I feel most comfortable sharing my music with.
SALSEEK: You have an upcoming appearance in New York City at the Lincoln Center Outdoors series. You must be excited about this particular appearance. What's happening that day?
YOKO: Yes! July 10th at Mid-Summer Night Swing. I'm honored to be part of a tribute given to La Lupe who was one of the greatest salsa divas in Salsa. I will be singing along with the Mambo Legends Orchestra which is the best big band in NYC!