Miho Wada

Japanese-born New Zealander Miho Wada leads her pocket-sized jazz orchestra on flute and saxophone, performing her unique style of music described in the media as “Afro-Cuban flute meets J-Pop”. Growing up in the seaside town of Miyazaki, Japan and later Christchurch, New Zealand, she seamlessly blends stylish contemporary jazz with her unique pan-pacific flavour.

After completing her Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance at the University of Canterbury, she moved to London for further study at the Trinity College of Music.  She worked for the National Orchestra of Malta in Valletta for a short time before deciding to challenge her creativity and explore other musical possibilities.

 Returning to London she began performing with many Cuban musicians, discovering her intrinsic passion for Afro-Cuban and El Son music. In 2008 she left for Cuba, studying and performing in both Havana and Santiago de Cuba.

 Now a prolific and highly acclaimed flute and sax player in her own right, Miho has performed internationally with artists such as Nigel Kennedy, Iggy Pop, Ska Cubano and members of Buena Vista Social Club.

After touring for WOMAD festivals in 2009 Miho returned to New Zealand and started composing and performing her original music, debuting internationally at the SXSW showcase in Austin, Texas in 2010.

The following year she formed her Auckland-based band "Miho's Jazz Orchestra (MJO)" who have successfully performed sold-out shows around New Zealand at various jazz festivals and concert series, and expanded their international fan base through tours in both Australia and Japan.  

This year Miho has travelled to the US to study jazz in New Orleans and to record her new EP Memphis Dreamin at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  

2014 has also seen the release of Miho’s Jazz Orchestra’s third full-length instrumental jazz album Mystery Banana which charted at #13 on the NZ Album Chart in its first week of release.

Described as one of the most entertaining jazz acts in New Zealand, Miho's Jazz Orchestra strives to uplift audiences through their positive energy and feel-good music.