Karuna first fell in love with jazz when she heard Nancy Wilson sing at a club in Tokyo. She was blown away by her heart-wrenching interpretation of her signature song "Guess Who I Saw Today".
Born in Hawaii to Japanese parents, Karuna moved to Tokyo, Japan in her teens. During university there, she started working as a broadcast journalist, first for NHK Television, then later for other international networks, including Asia Business News, CNN International, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation. For fifteen years Karuna was seen by millions of viewers around the world and was highly commended at the Asian Television Awards as Best News Presenter and for her Inside Asia special on Thailand that she produced, wrote, and hosted for CNN.
As a vocalist, audiences have noted Karuna's beautiful and soothing vocal tone, as well as her engaging stage presence.
Along with jazz standards, Karuna is passionate about bossa nova. To honor Brazil's music, she often sings in Portuguese.
Karuna is now working on her first album of jazz standards and bossa nova songs, to be released in 2021. Two singles from the album, "Smile" and "O Pato", are now out on music streaming platforms.
© Hiro Ugaya