Arts & Entertainment

Maki Mae’s Woman of the Year Tour Dazzles

Maki Mae stands next to a crowd of supporters and fans, bringing together residents from all parts of the San Gabriel Valley community. – Courtesy photo / Michael Tseng

Tour coming to San Gabriel, El Segundo, and Pasadena

By Michael Tseng

As the only Asian American and artist of 2019’s California State Senate Woman of the Year awards, genre-defying violinist Maki Mae wants to use this honor to bring music and the arts to every part of California. And there’s no better way to do that than to start her own musical tour.

On June 30, the Arcadia Public Library Cay Mortenson Auditorium hosted the first concert, debuting Maki Mae’s Woman of the Year Tour. The musical entourage featured established artists, such as former Chicago keyboardist Ed Roth, the 626 trio, Maki Mae, and upcoming artist Aubrey Leonard.

Mae says that she wants to bring the joy of music to the southern California community, and also bring charity by supporting local non-profit organizations.

“The idea of the recital is to have a small, intimate concert to fundraise for the Methodist Hospital, to bring awareness to the cancer research and the Positive Appearance Center,” Mae said.

The concert featured a repertoire of classical and contemporary music, including movements from Bach and Handel. Artists also debuted modern songs, such as Mulan’s “Reflection” and Into the Woods’ “No one is Alone.”

Throughout the performance, Mae echoed her core values of unity and strength, drawing on the familial and community relationships, and the struggles that she has had to endure.

“[When I was singing], I was just thinking about my mother, and I was trying to sing to her, to let her know she’s not alone,” Mae lamented. “And my sister as well … we’re here, all the people who’ve passed in our lives, they’re with us all the time.”

For Mae, music and art serves as a bridge for unity and restoration. In fact, it’s not so far to say that those two are directly correlated. Mae has stated before that art is a tool for self-reflection, and she embodies this ideal, bringing music and joy to herself and the community.

Mae and the other performers filled the auditorium with one-and-a-half hours of flowing music and soliloquies, entrancing the audience with personal stories that brought a unique perspective to the songs she performed.

Maki Mae prepares to sing her signature song, “Time to say Goodbye,” with keyboardist Ed Roth at the helm. – Courtesy photo / Michael Tseng

One of these songs was Mae’s piece-de-resistance, “Time to Say Goodbye,” a classical opera that has followed and marks her decade long career. Mae says that she dreams of singing a duet with Andrea Bocelli, but is still awaiting the opportunity to do so. That is one of the many dreams that has kept Mae performing for decades, and she will continue to struggle until she reaches that stage.

“All good music can transform boundaries, it doesn’t matter who you are,” Mae said. “I’m sure that they will eventually invite me onto that stage.”

Maki Mae’s Woman of the Year Tour is set to appear in other parts of southern California, including San Gabriel, El Segundo, and Pasadena. Each concert will feature its own style of music, and a different set of performances. Mae’s final goal is to expand her musical entourage to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, bringing her one step closer to that duet with Andrea Bocelli.

July 8, 2019

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