Musical NotesBy Esther Callens

There is an old adage that states “A great artist is not defined by the instrument he plays. But it is by the talent that he possesses.”  This is profoundly true when enjoying If You Believe, the latest by Mika Stoltzman.  Presenting over an hour worth of some fantastic music, If You Believe is a remarkable CD.
Mika Stoltzman is an unlikely talent as she is a marimba genius. Sure, it is well-known her instrument of choice is of the percussion family – more similar to the xylophone but with a lower tonal range. So, most musicians find playing the marimba is easy – but mastering it requires an innate ability.  This is what Mika Stoltzman thoroughly owns.
If You Believe includes a varying genre of tunes showing the diversity of Mika Stoltzman. From the sprightly tempo of “Irish Spirit” (Celebration), the rhythmic grooves of “The Last Mojitos” and “Funky Little Fugue” to the measured pace of “Pavane” and all that falls in between – Mika Stoltzman works her magic on every one.  The results yield an accomplished musician who is not afraid to explore music. Virtuoso at its best!
Mika Stoltzman was born in Amakusa Island, Kumamoto Japan. Her lively and energetic performances have afforded her the privilege to share the stage with artists such as Steven Gadd, Eddie Gomez, Stefan Karlsson, Mike Mainieri, Richard Stoltzman (Mika Husband), and others. Likewise, Carnegie Weill Hall (New York), Blue Note Jazz Clubs (Japan), World Heritage Shimogano Shrine (Japan) are just a few of the venues where she has performed. She now resides in New York City and Boston.

Album artists: Mika Stoltzman, Richard Stoltzman, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, John Tropea, Duke Gadd, Harlem String Quartet.
Track listing:  Mikalypso; Funky Little Fugue; La Fiesta; Irish Spirit; Sambata; Jubilation; The Last Mojitos; Marika Groove; Cantabile; Pavane; Crazy Marimba.