Nothing is more refreshing than hearing an Indie jazz artist who brings a new approach to jazz. Jazz pianist, composer, Yoko Miwa is very comfortable mixing genres in her jazz compositions. It ranges from gospel, pop bebop, and classical. Yoko was born and raised in Kobe, Japan, and from a young age started performing. She grew up in a household with music. Her mother played several Japanese instruments including the koto ( a stringed instrument) and she taught young Yoko how to play. Her Mom loved listening to such jazz artists as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and others. Yoko started playing piano at age 4 and was classically trained. She wasn't interested in jazz at first but as fate would have it she met popular jazz organist and nightclub owner, Minoru Ozone.
Life can change in a second and from that moment on she studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music. She had auditioned for them and won a full scholarship but only intended to stay for a year but she is still in Boston and is one of the most popular professors at Berklee. She has performed with her trio for the last decade to audiences around the world. She has both recorded with and performed with such jazz luminaries as Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyn Carrington, Arturo Sandoval, and more. She made her recording debut in 2012 with her Trio and has since traveled and recorded with many. She is a frequent guest at Jazz at Lincoln Center and at the Blue Note club here in NYC. Her latest album, Songs of Joy was released this past January. The album was recorded last year during the pandemic and after a very hard year, she wanted to record music that brings joy. Her rendition of Richie Haven's "Freedom" is definitely worth checking out. Along with her original compositions, she also has some remakes from Thelonius Monk and Billy Preston. Check out this amazing pianist and support independent music and musicians worldwide. Happy listening!
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