Akiko Yano is a Japanese pop and jazz musician.
Her music is by turns playful, heartfelt, melodic, ornate, and disarmingly simple, reflecting a love of music in all its forms and colors. She handles moody new wave, virtuosic fusion, traditional jazz ballads, straightahead pop, and singer-songwriter folk songs with equal aplomb.
Though she's recorded with many of the 20th century's greatest pop and jazz musicians, her primarily Japanese-language albums have kept her music below the radar of most English-language listeners. She's recorded with, among many others, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, members of Little Feat, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, David Sylvian, Mick Karn, Kenji Omura, Jeff Bova, Yukihiro Takahashi, Charlie Haden, Peter Erskine, Anthony Jackson, David Rhodes, the band Quruli, and her son Futa Sakamoto.
Beyond her solo work, Yano has recorded with Thomas Dolby, Yngwie Malmsteen, The Chieftains, The Hammonds, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Kazumi Watanabe, The Boom, Tetsuro Kashibuchi, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. She appeared on the recording "Snowflake" reading a children's story in Japanese with Peter Gabriel reading in English and music by Akira Inoue and David Rhodes accompanying both.