Styles: Brazilian Jazz, Bossa Nova
Lisa Ono is one of the best Japanese interpreters of contemporary bossa nova. A singer, violonista (acoustic guitar player), and songwriter, she has had her albums released internationally. To date, she has recorded 12 albums (Catupiry, 1989; Nanг, 1990; Menina, 1991; Serenata Carioca, 1992; Namorada, 1993; Esperanзa, 1994; Minha Saudade, 1995; Rio Bossa, 1996; Essкncia, 1997; Bossa Carioca, 1998; Dream, 1999; and Pretty World, 2000) with special appearances by top artists like Tom Jobim, Sivuca, Paulo Moura, Danilo Caymmi, and Toots Thielemans. Having lived in Brazil until she was ten, she took advantage of her father's connections - he was the owner of a concurred nightclub in the city of Sгo Paulo and was Baden Powell's manager. Moving back to Japan, he opened the Saci Pererк nightclub, where Lisa Ono began to perform the Brazilian repertory, especially samba and bossa nova. She also founded the label Nanг, which promotes Brazilian music in Japan.
- Alvaro Neder (All Music Guide)
Born in Sao Paulo of Japanese descent, Lisa has been living in Japan since age 10. Even having lived in Brazil for such a short time, she was turned into a type of MPB (Brazil Popular Music) ambassador in Japan, influenced by her father, who owned a club while living in Brazil, and was also Baden Powell's agent.
After moving to Japan, Lisa's dad opened a new venue called Saci-Perere (their new website is now up), where she started performing mainly bossa nova and samba. Besides singing, Lisa Ono plays the guitar and is a songwriter. Her first album, Catupiry, was released in 1989, and she hasn't stopped recording since then, putting out one disc a year, mostly in Portuguese. In 1991 her album Na Na won the "Grand Prix Gold Disk Award for Jazz" in Japan. Her third album Menina was recorded in Rio, and won the same Grand Prix award.
In 1994 she released Esperanca, with guest appearances by Tom Jobim, Sivuca, Paulo Moura, Danilo Caymmi and Mario Adnet. The following year she made Minha Saudade, dedicated to works by Joao Donato, who also wrote the arrangements. In 1996 Antonio Adolfo co-produced her CD Rio Bossa. In 1998 Lisa released the album Bossa Carioca, produced by Paulo and Daniel Jobim. She also started a label, Nana, aimed at promoting Brazilian music in Japan. In 1999 Oscar Casto-Neves co-produced her CD Dream, which sold over 200,000 copies. This recording was made in America, and contains classic American songs and film music from the 1940's/50's done with bossa nova arrangements.
In the fall of 2000 she released Boas Festas, a "winter bossa" album to celebrate the holiday season. The album includes some original songs, as well as fresh bossa arragements of classic American Christmas carols. In the summer of 2001 she released Bossa Hula Nova, which as the title suggests, includes some new and classic Hawaiian songs mixed in a bossa nova style. This beautiful album includes arrangements by Mario Adnet, who appears on many of her recordings. (For comments by Mario Adnet about working with Lisa, click here.) In March 2002 Lisa released Lisa Ono Best 1997-2001. This CD also includes two wonderful new live songs recorded on Lisa's "winter bossa" tour in December 2001. In July 2002, Lisa released Questa Bossa Mia. This new CD features a new musical destination - Italy. Mario Adnet is once again involved.
Lisa has performed with Tom Jobim and with Joao Donato in Brazil, in addition to other performances around the world. Appearances in Japan include concerts at the Blue Note Tokyo with Paulo and Daniel Jobim, Toninho Horta, and Emilo Santiago.