The 2017 Charles Fishman Embassy Series is made possible by the generous support of Events DC, Destination DC, Linda and Michael Sonnenreich, the Mayo Charitable Foundation, and Peter Gillon and Lisa Hook.
The Fishman Embassy Series, so named in honor of Charles Fishman, founder of the DC Jazz Festival®, is an ongoing presentation of DCJF, at festival time and throughout the year. This series presents artists from across the globe in partnership with the foreign embassy community in our nation’s capital. Fostering and producing the Fishman Embassy Series is a classic manifestation of DCJF’s 2017 theme: "Discover the Unexpected.”
Though born in the U.S., jazz music has evolved over the last century as a true global music. In its earliest stages jazz music was the specific province of American artists. Gradually through the performance of the music around the world, including the robust international network of jazz festivals, and the broad dissemination of jazz education – including learning artists from around the world migrating to the U.S. to study the music – jazz has become a true world music. Where once almost exclusively U.S.-based or expatriate musicians performed jazz music across the globe, artists around the world now express the jazz esthetic through the lens of their own unique cultures. The Fishman Embassy Series is a classic example of the worldwide impact of jazz music.
ANNUAL TRUSTEE RECEPTION - RESIDENCE OF THE AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN, FEATURING THE YOKO MIWA TRIO
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th, 7:00PM - Invitation only. Contact Mark O'Reilly, special events coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Internationally acclaimed pianist/composer Yoko Miwa is quickly becoming known as 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. Of Miwa’s 2017 release Pathways, Dan McClenaghan of All About Jazz said, “4 stars–This is Yoko Miwa at her extroverted best…her finest recording to date.” Pathways also reached the top 10 of the national Jazz Week Radio Charts and is currently at number 6.
For the past decade Miwa has honed one of the most musical trio sounds on the jazz scene. They play 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,” part of the Coca Cola Generations in Jazz Festival. She was also chosen to perform at Lincoln Center’s annual 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 and has performed and/or recorded with a wide range of jazz greats including Sheila Jordan, Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kevin Mahogany, John Lockwood and Johnathan Blake among others.
Miwa is a Yamaha Pianos Artist, JVC Victor Entertainment recording artist, and Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll winner.
Miwa’s story of becoming a jazz musician is full of serendipity and happy twists of fate. In the late 1990s 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 in 1997, intending to stay for a year. In 2017, 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.
Act Naturally, the Yoko Miwa Trio’s major label debut in Japan, came out in 2012 on the JVC Victor Entertainment label and the band toured Japan that same year. “She is one of the best jazz pianists in Japan,” said Yozo Iwanami, Jazz Hihyo Magazine.
A native of Kobe, Japan, Miwa was classically trained and didn’t pursue an interest in jazz until she met and studied with Minoru Ozone, a popular television organist and nightclub owner who is the father of pianist Makoto Ozone. Miwa worked at Ozone’s club and as an accompanist and piano instructor at his music school until the great Kobe earthquake of 1995 destroyed both facilities. Then, while continuing to take private lessons from Minoru Ozone, she also pursued musical studies at the Koyo Conservatory in Kobe. From there she won first prize in a scholarship competition to attend Berklee. Miwa quickly began playing with a host of talented students and teachers, and she formed a strong bond with vocal great Kevin Mahogany, who chose the pianist to serve as accompanist in his classes and on his gigs.
Miwa has recorded seven highly acclaimed CDs: In the Mist of Time (Tokuma, 2000); Fadeless Flower (Polystar, 2002); Canopy of Stars (Polystar, 2004); The Day We Said Goodbye, recorded live at the studios of WGBH-FM (Sunshine Digital, 2006); Live at Scullers (Jazz Cat Amnesty, 2011); Act Naturally (JVC Victor Entertainment, 2012), and Pathways (2017). On each CD one hears Miwa’s distinct and powerful musical personality.
- Yoko Miwa: piano
- Scott Goulding: drums
- Will Slater: double bass