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Toshiko Akiyoshi

Toshiko Akiyoshi

Toshiko Akiyoshi (秋吉 敏子 or 穐吉 敏子, Akiyoshi Toshiko?, born December 12, 1929) is a Japanese American jazz pianist, composer/arranger and bandleader. Among a very few successful female instrumentalists of her generation in jazz, she is also recognized as a major figure in jazz composition. She has received 14 Grammy nominations, and she was the first woman to win the Best Arranger and Composer awards in Down Beat magazine's Readers Poll. In 1984, she was the subject of a documentary film titled Jazz Is My Native Language. In 1996, she published her autobiography, Life With Jazz and in 2007 she was named an NEA Jazz Master by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts.