Sun Apr 2
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Washington, DC 20007
“Yoko Miwa has been gifted with both extraordinary musical skills and has the pure spirit that is necessary for great art. We love her musical gifts and her beautiful spirit as well.” – Ahmad Jamal
“Miwa is a virtuoso pianist with dazzling technique always in the service of interaction and exchange of ideas.” – NYC Jazz Record
“Pianist Yoko Miwa displays unpretentious melodies, elegant phrasing, and the lyrical sensibility of a jazz poet.” – Jazziz Magazine
“She has the enviable ability to play in any context with authenticity, clarity, and spontaneity…” – JazzTimes
“I greatly appreciate and respect the clarity and strength in Yoko’s playing, it is very apparent – the honesty, care and depth of foundation she touches the piano with.” – Benny Green
Chart topping, DownBeat Rising Star pianist Yoko Miwa returns to Blues Alley with her trio! Yoko Miwa on piano, Will Slater on bass, Scott Goulding on drums.
Internationally acclaimed pianist/composer Yoko Miwa is one of the most powerful and compelling performers on the scene today. Her trio, with its remarkable telepathy and infectious energy, has brought audiences to their feet worldwide. Yoko was named a Rising Star Pianist in the 2022 DownBeat Critics Poll. The Yoko Miwa Trio’s 2021 release Songs of Joy received wide acclaim and reached #1 on national jazz radio charts and was voted a best jazz album of 2021 in the DownBeat 86th Annual Readers Poll. Jazziz called it “a radiant new collection.” CD Hotlist said “…yet another triumph from one of America’s finest jazz pianists, composers, and bandleaders.” Their 2019 CD, Keep Talkin’, showcases Miwa’s fine playing and artful compositions and the trio’s uncanny musical camaraderie. DownBeat gave the recording four stars, calling it “a beautifully constructed album” and noting “the drive and lyricism of a pianist and composer at home in bebop, gospel, pop, and classical.” JazzTimes also reviewed the album favorably, praising Miwa’s “jaw-dropping degree of technique.” The album enjoyed seven weeks in the top 10 on Jazz Week’s charts, much like its predecessor, Miwa’s 2017 release Pathways, which also made Jazz Week’s top 10 for several weeks. In a 2017 feature article on Miwa, DownBeat noted her “impressive technique and a tuneful lyricism that combines an Oscar Peterson-ish hard swing with Bill Evans-like introspection.”
For more than a decade Miwa’s trio has played regularly at major jazz clubs in their home city of Boston, as well as venues around the world. A favorite of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Miwa was chosen to play on “Marian McPartland & Friends,” and the Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival. She was also chosen to perform at Lincoln Center’s Jazz and Leadership Workshop for The National Urban League’s Youth Summit. Miwa also appears regularly at New York’s famed Blue Note Jazz Club as well as Birdland and has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of jazz greats including Sheila Jordan, Slide Hampton, Jazzmeia Horn, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kevin Mahogany, Dominique Eade, and Johnathan Blake among others. In 2018 she performed at the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the Litchfield Jazz Festival, where she drew the largest audience of any act. She's a Yamaha Pianos Artist, JVC Victor and Ubuntu Music recording artist, 10X nominated and 2019 Winner in the Boston Music Awards as Jazz Artist of the Year.
Miwa’s story of becoming a jazz musician is full of serendipity and happy twists of fate. The classically-trained artist auditioned for Berklee College of Music on a lark and ended up winning a full scholarship. She arrived at the school from her homeland of Japan intending to stay for a year. She’s still in Boston, enriching the city’s musical life and serving as one of the most popular professors in the Berklee piano department.
Miwa has nine highly acclaimed released: In the Mist of Time (2000); Fadeless Flower (2002); Canopy of Stars (2004); The Day We Said Goodbye (2006); Live at Scullers (2011); Act Naturally (2012), Pathways (2017), Keep Talkin’ (2019), and Songs of Joy (2021).