Suzie Katayama
Background information
Occupation Musician, conductor, arranger
Instruments Cello, accordion
Years active 1980s-present
Associated acts Prince
Duran Duran
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Suzie Katayama is a musician, conductor and arranger, who has recorded and performed with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and artists including Duran Duran.


Suzie began her musical career as an accordionist, performing during community concerts. A college advisor later told her that she needed to learn a 'real' instrument, so she went to her love of the cello and began lessons. As a cellist she has performed on many recordings, which include TV shows such as Alias, Lost and Desperate Housewives. Suzie has also contributed to films soundtracks for Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Dreamgirls, and all of the Austin Powers films. She has played or conducted on hit records such as Prince's Purple Rain and Madonna's Ray of Light, as well as albums by Aerosmith, Nirvana, Elton John, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, Ben Folds, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Train, Josh Groban, Celine Dion and Duran Duran's Thank You released in 1995.

Suzie has also toured with Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Barbra Streisand, and performed as an accordionist during Icelandic singer Björk's 4-piece ensembled Post Tour (1995-97). She was music director for Madonna's Ray of Light television appearances in the late 1990s, and had one of her accordion compositions used in The Last King of Scotland. She also has appeared with Ute Lemper with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at this venue.

In 2003 she performed with Incubus' Mike Einziger's Time-Lapse Consortium at The Roxy in West Hollywood. In 2004 she played on the Academy Awards broadcast with Annie Lennox, performing the Best Song winner "Into the West", from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, as well as "A Tribute to Heroes" with Limp Bizkit and Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls.

Her arranging and conducting credits include projects for Jon Bon Jovi, Andrea Bocelli, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sam Moore, Frank Sinatra, and upcoming albums from James Blunt and Ringo Starr.

A Selection of creditsEdit

  • Purple Rain - Prince (1984)
  • Famous Blue Raincoat - Jennifer Warnes (1986)
  • Like A Prayer - Madonna (1989)
  • No Borders - Keiko Matsui (1990)
  • Thank You - Duran Duran (1995)
  • Ray of Light - Madonna (1998)
  • Self Portrait - Lalah Hathaway (2008)
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