Bio

Born in Tokyo, Japan, TOYA became a professional musician at the young age of eleven. In 1991, after working on more than 100 CDs and many concert tours with famous artists in Japan, Toya decided to move to New York City. He has worked with world-renowned singers including Ben E. King (Stand By Me), Dionne Warwick, Maxine Brown (R&B Hall of Fame), Chuck Jackson, Dee Dee Sharp (R&R Hall of Fame), and many more as a Musical Director and or a keyboardist. Toya has also produced albums, concerts, television commercials, and music for theater.

 

In July 2001, he directed the music for the opening ceremony of Former President Bill Clinton’s new office in Harlem, New York. In addition, since 2001 TOYA has been producing an American Diva's vocal group called "Wild Women" featuring Maxine Brown. In the Spring of 2006 and 2008, he took the group on tour in Japan to perform in 14 cities. 

In 2009, he created a new song and dance show called “Virtuosity” along with Vivian Reed (two-time Tony Award Nominee) as the musical director/conductor, composer, arranger, and pianist. “Virtuosity” opened and ran for six weeks in Toronto and two weeks in Minneapolis.

In 2011, Toya produced Ben E. King's latest album "Dear Japan - Ue Wo Muite Arukou", (Universal Music Japan) for the people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami* in Tohoku, Japan. Ben E. King received a commendation from the Japan Tourism Agency for his ongoing support surrounding the tragedy. Toya and Ben E. King also performed six shows in Tokyo and Osaka (all sold out) in November of 2011. In August of 2012, accompanied by Toya’s great musicians and choir from New York, they again embarked on a music tour in Japan playing in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka for over 5000 people in total, with every performance receiving a standing ovation.

On December 10th, 2015, Voza Rivers and Toya produced a tribute concert for Sir Ben E. King entitled "CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF BEN E. KING" starring Chuck Jackson, Maxine Brown, Joe Coleman, and many other celebrities. At this event, December 10th was declared "Ben E. King Day" in Harlem, New York.

He composed and recorded a new 22-minute suite consisting of 3 parts for the Saint Louis Ballet which performed in May 2021.

Toya is currently working on a musical called "Gravity of Love the Musical", written, composed, and produced by TOYA himself, which is expected to be performed in both the US and Japan in 2022.

*The song “I Miss You” from the album "Dear Japan - Ue Wo Muite Arukou" is a collaborative effort with music written by TOYA and lyrics written by Ben E. King. A portion of the proceeds credited to the sale of this song goes to aid earthquake/tsunami relief.