Junko Onishi was born in Kyoto on April 16, 1967, and grew up in Tokyo. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 1989, she started her professional career mainly in the New York area, performing with artists such as singer Betty Carter, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, as well as The Mingus Big Band and Mingus Dynasty. Onishi made her solo debut in January 1993 with “WOW”. The album became a big bestseller and she won the Japanese jazz category of Swing Journal magazine’s Jazz Disc Awards the same year. Building on the momentum, she released her second album, Cruisin’, on Blue Note Records in the US in April 1994. The following month, she became the first Japanese artist to perform a one-week stint with her own band at Village Vanguard, the prestigious jazz club in New York. The event was captured on Junko Onishi Live At The Village Vanguard , which won the Silver Prize of Swing Journal magazine’s Jazz Disc Awards, as well as the Idemitsu Music Award. In the Swing Journal magazine reader’s poll in 1995, she became the winner of four categories, namely “Jazzman of the Year”, “Album of the Year”, “Combo”, and “Piano”. She then continued to lead the Japanese jazz scene with her freewheeling scope of activities and ushered the new trend of the full-fledged female jazz musicians. However, she suddenly declared a long-term hiatus in March 2000 with her Osaka show as final. Onishi let the music speak for her when she resumed her activities in 2007. She returned with a playing style full of dynamism that combined the familiar powerful and groovy feel with sensitivity, which created another sensation. She released Musical Moments, her first album in 11 years, in 2007, and went on to perform at Berlin Jazz Festival with her own trio in November. Musical Moments was released in France in February 2010. The following month, she was in New York – the place where she began her professional career – recording Baroque, her first album from the newly - signed Universal Music. The album featured a wide array of first-call musicians of her generation, and gave full rein to a dynamic, rich acoustic jazz sound. It was released worldwide and enjoyed high acclaim, including the victory in the reader’s poll of an American jazz magazine. The recording member gathered at Orchard Hall in Tokyo for a gorgeous concert, which attracted tremendous interest. In summer 2012, Onishi suddenly announced her retirement. In September 2013, Onishi participated in the “Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto”, a celebration of classical music, yielding an ardent and persistent persuasion by Seiji Ozawa and deciding that this would be her one last return on stage. Saito Kinen Orchestra, led by Ozawa, sharing the stage with the Junko Onishi trio created a sensation that summer and made a huge impact. In September 2015, Onishi performed at Tokyo Jazz as a supporting member of Terumasa Hino & Larry Carlton Super Band, and returned to the stage with her overwhelming presence. And now she is making a full - fledged comeback to the music scene on June 22, 2016 with the release of Tea Times , produced by Naruyoshi Kikuchi.