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 ABOUT

"A world renowned standing cellist(Acoustic/Electric) who combines technical mastery with unique cultural perspective.
The first Japanese musician on Cirque du Soleil's stage"

Mariko Muranaka is a standing cello performer (acoustic/electric) with solid technique and unique perspective, and her reputation reaches worldwide. She is also the first Japanese solo musician ever to be seen on Cirque de Soleil's stages.
Currently based in Las Vegas, she travels all over the world to perform on stage. Also, as a protege of Mr. Hitoshi Konno in his Japan's top studio musicians group, she has an extensive career as a recording artist. Besides cell
o, she also tours as a violinist, and produces her own projects by composing and performing her original pieces

At the moment, Mariko is performing as acoustic cello soloist on "The World of Hans Zimmer: A New Dimension"  tour in Europe, performing 35 shows in 14 countries. On the 31st of May and 1st of June she will be performing once again on the "Hans Zimmer Live Tour" in Dubai, with more shows following in 2024 and 2025 in the US.

In 2023, Mariko performed as an electric cello soloist on "Hans Zimmer Live Tour" with Hans Zimmer himself in 16 countries in Europe and all shows in arenas were sold out.  Also she performed with " Two Steps from Hell" as a an electric cello soloist in Wacken Open Air metal music festival in August 2023 in front of an audience of 50.000 people

She was also on the " Two Steps From Hell" tour in Europe from September - October 5th in 2023. 

From July 2022 - February 2023, Mariko performed her original pieces at the resident show at Palms in Las Vegas.

From November 2022 - March 2023, Mariko performed for Adele.  

 

In March 2022, Mariko performed for Thomas Rhett at Academy of Country Music Awards on Amazon Prime. In April, she performed for Carry Underwood at 23rd Grammy Awards at MGM Las Vegas. She also performed for Eagles and Journey's concert in May and July in Las Vegas. Currently she is performing her original pieces as a featured artist at Midnight Skye Revival at Palms Casino. 

 

In 2021, She played for rock band JOURNEY at Caesars Palace as a member of orchestra. Also she performed as Raiders House Band (David Perico Pops Orchestra)  at Allegiant Stadium. In 2022, she performed at NFL draft as a Raiders House Band. 

In 2019-2020, Mariko performed on MADONNA "Madame X Tour" in USA and Europe. She was introduced as a scene-stealing musician on Rolling Stone Online Magazine.

In 2020, during the pandemic, Mariko performed for Karol G at Latin Grammy awards. It remains on YouTube. 

 

In 2016, she performed Prince Tribute piece with Madonna on Billboard Awards 2016 at Las Vegas T-mobile Arena. 

 

In 2014, 2015 and 2018, STARSET, a popular American rock band, whose first single hit #1 on Rock Chart and has been in the chart over 30 weeks, welcomed her to join their US and Europe tour.

In 2013,
Cirque du Soleil had looked for a cellist for MICHAEL JACKSON Immortal World Tour in the world, and Mariko was chosen to be the first Japanese musician for them. Among the 11  musicians were former original members of Michael Jackson's supporting band. She played her original solo on stage without any accompanying instruments, and performed in a battle against the guitarist in "Beat It" with her electric cello, which were aired on TV in China and other countries. 
This show went across 4 continents, 27 countries, in arenas of 141 cities, and made the record on 500 shows. Its sales exceeded $371 million and it entertained 3.7 million people all over the world. It became the biggest tour in North America.
After 2015,
Cirque du Soleil's CEO, Guy Laliberte recommended her for "Zumanity", their resident show in Las Vegas for more than 10 years. She currently appears in Zumanity on 10 shows a week.
In February, she was a part of the special performance on Las Vegas's Main Street, which was featured as the top news on LasVegas.com newspaper. Steven Tyler, the vocalist of Aerosmith, gave her a praise in person after watching this show.

Mariko continues to distribute songs and videos of her own music, performed solo or collaborated with other artists in various genres. 

Mariko was born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.  She started to play the violin and piano at the age of four, and the cello at eight.
She begin to perform on stage in her early age. She played the violin on the big stage of
Budo-kan with Kryzler & Kompany led by reputable Mr. Taro Hakase, who is also known for his work with Celine Dion.
In highschool, she decided to focus on cello, and she was accepted into the top music university in Japan,
Tokyo Geijyutsu University (Tokyo University of Arts). While in school, she started to work as a musician in classical concerts, musicals such as "Les Miserables", recording and TV shows. She formed a group "VanillaMood" with other students from Tokyo University of Arts.  In parallel with their busy study, they appeared in NHK's national television show, performing live regularly from Monday to Friday, entertaining the country with different songs every day. With all these achievement, she successfully graduated the university. 
Next 3 years, they played live every day on "PON!" by
Japan Television, "Ohirudesuyo Fureai Hall" by NHK shows, and one year and half as a regular DJ on Nippon Broadcast. She also released 4 CD/DVDs from "avex". One of them was a collaboration with Korea's most popular online game "Tales Weaver", and the original score was used in the game. As a band, they arranged and played nearly 1,000 songs in several years.
In 2012, she released her original solo album "Feelin' the Sky". The titled song has been used as an ending theme song in "Nippon Shoku Kikou" by
Nippon Broadcast every Friday.
In the same year, she was appointed as the first Japanese ambassador of
Paesold, a long-established German brand, and she is the face of their cellos and bows in Japan's major music instruments stores.

Her recent credits : Amber Liu, Cirque du Soleil, 
TV shows: "PON!", " Ohirudesuyo Fureai Hall, " "Songs", "Music Fair", "Bokura No Ongaku", " Music Station", "Jyounetsu Tairiku" (live tour support)
Collaboration / Support of other artists: Amber Liu, Ryuichi Kawamura (Luna Sea), Masashi Sada,Taro Hakase, Ringo Shiina, Toshinobu Kubota, Tegomasu, Arashi, Koji Tamaki, Speed, Eriko Imai, Aki Yashiro, Tomomi Kahara, Kana Nishino, Inoran(Luna Sea), Sophia, Kimaguren, MIWA, MINMI, Amika Hattan, Ayako Nakanomori, Hiromi Gou, J Soul Brothers, E-girls, ALI  PROJECT,  Nana Mizuki, Takanori Nishikawa( T.M Revolution), Lead, Akiko Wada, Momoiro Clover Z, THE ALFEE, Takaraduka-Kagekidan,"Les Misérables", Yuzou Kayama,  

Films: "Inazuma Eleven", "Ultraman", "Attack on Titan(Shingeki No Kyojin)" ,"銀河英雄伝説", "赦免花" , "顔", " Himitsuno Akkochan", NHK Documentary,etc...
And a number of commercial, TV dramas, games and live shows.

2024: World of Hans Zimmer: A New Dimension

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2023: Two Steps from Hell Live

2023: Hans Zimmer Live

2016: Billboard Awards
Played for Madonna =Prince Tribute-
May/22/2016 at T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas

2015: Cirque du Soleil - Zumanity 
 in Resident show is Las Vegas 
10shows a week

Painted on the promotion car

Top Interview on the Las Vegas Japan Times

2013: Cirque du Soleil - Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour

Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour Documentary

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