SUNSHINE IN MANHATTAN
Forty five years ago, in 1973, Masumi and her husband, Ray, founded Pacific Language School (PLS) in Tokyo, Japan. Since that time, they and teachers they have trained have provided English education for both children and adults.
Masumi currently serves as the Vice principal of the school and heads the PLS Institute of English Education. She is also chief of a sister school organization comprised of over 50 schools throughout Japan, whose teachers and staff are provided seminars and workshops by PLS trainers. Moreover, Masumi holds educational seminars all over the country, gives presentations at academic conferences and educational training and consulting at both public and private schools.
The PLS educational exchange program with the United States, Canada and recently Italy has been operative since 1984. Many hundreds of PLS students have gone to California, USA and Vancouver, Canada for home-stay experience and short or longer-term study abroad. In January 2017 a group of teachers from Limone, Italy came to Tokyo for an exchange visit, including class observation at PLS and at rural public middle schools which follow the PLS English study curriculum.
Masumi, now a rising international vocalist, began her singing career for personal enjoyment and to help serve as a communicator of western culture to Japan, where she has sung at various music venues throughout the country. She has also performed in America, Canada and Italy, singing in English, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Increasingly attracted to jazz, she spent three months of 2015 in New York studying under Grammy-nominee Roseanna Vitro.
Masumi was impressed and inspired by Ms. Vitro’s music and passion in mentoring singers and musicians. In September 2016, with Ms. Vitro as producer, “Miles High Records” released Masumi’s first album: “Sunshine in Manhattan” (featuring ten American standards backed by well-known jazz musicians). She received high praise from New York music critics and placed high on the jazz charts. Following that, Masumi held a memorial opening live show at Kitano Hotel Jazz Club in New York in October 2016, with attending guests from Japan. At that time, the producer and vocalist Ms. Vitro joined her on stage, singing backup with the Lee Tomboulian Trio and violinist Sara Caswell.
In April 2017, Masumi performed with the ‘father of Slovak jazz,’ Peter Lipa in Slovakia, and in September, invited by Mr. Lipa, she participated in a concert tour to four cities in the Czech Republic. The success of that tour resulted in her being invited as a Japanese special guest to a charity concert to be held at the National Theater on April 20, 2018 in support of young artistic talent, organized by the LECA charity organization. The honor of this invitation has increased her commitment and enthusiasm to undertake future singing performances in Europe. Masumi is currently expanding her educational and singing activities in Italy and Austria.