A Note of Gratitude

Cherry blossoms or sakura. Photo by Erin Halvey

Tuesday’s performance at the Regattabar was a huge success!  We’ve received great feedback from audience members on our Facebook page, and our take on the traditional Japanese piece, Sakura, seemed to be very popular.

With that said, we’d like to thank the following for their support not only of this performance but of our work overall:

Regattabar, Brenda Prescott, Fred Taylor, Eric Jackson, Ann Braithwaite, Bob Blumenthal, Jon Garelick, Joe Zupan, Erin Halvey, Lauren Muscarella, Helen Feng, Anri Toda, Martin Hanley, Greg Loughman, Scott Goulding, Arthur Dahl, George Beale, Japanese Association of Greater Boston, The Japan Society of Boston, Scullers Jazz Club, Berklee College of Music, Ryles Jazz Club, Les Zygomates, Stellina, Mount Auburn Club

You have all been so instrumental, if you’ll pardon the pun, in leading us to where we are today.  A deep, heartfelt thank you to you all!

Women in Jazz Part 2

As you read in yesterday’s post, Yoko Miwa is part of a select few women in instrumental jazz. Last year, Yoko and her trio debuted at the Regattabar in celebration of Women’s History Month. This performance was dedicated to jazz great, Sheila Jordan. Sheila was unable to make it to the performance, but Yoko was able to perform a duet with her which we featured as part of last year’s Women’s History Month posts.

Sheila did record an introduction for last year’s performance that we’d like to share as part of our gearing up for next week’s Regattabar performance.

We look forward to seeing you next Tuesday, March 27th, at the Regattabar! Please be sure to support women in the arts this Women’s History Month and all year round.

Women in Instrumental Jazz and Women’s History Month

“Hal Galper said something that was interesting . . . somebody said, ‘So, Hal, you know jazz has pretty gone as far as it can go, right? I mean what’s left to change?’ . . . he goes, ‘I guess the only thing left to change is women. More women.’. . . I kind of feel the same way.” -Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen

March is National Women’s History Month, and Yoko Miwa debuted at the Regattabar last year as part of their celebration of women musicians. Yoko’s talents set her apart in the jazz world. Not only is she a woman instrumentalist, but she is a composer and the leader of her trio. The instrumental jazz world, like many art forms, has long been dominated by male performers. But if we let go of preconceptions of what instrumental jazz should be or used to be, the talent of Yoko Miwa and other women can shine through and welcome new fans to the genre. Jazz in the 21st century should change, evolve, and welcome new ideas just like other art forms such as photography, film, etc. If you exclude 50% of the population, you can only push the envelope so far and reach so many people.

Here’s a clip of Yoko performing Girl Talk. It’s a powerful juxtaposition to have a title associated with something often brushed off as trivial with such a strong, confident performance on the piano.

Yoko and her trio will again be performing at the Regattabar during Women’s History Month (March 27th). So come out and support her acclaimed talent and change the perceptions of who should perform jazz. Click here for tickets and more information.

Cherry Blossoms and Song

Image by Listen Missy! via Creative Commons

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the United States. Boston is receiving a gift of cherry trees from Japan this spring to celebrate this 100th anniversary of the friendship between Japan and the United States.

Berklee College of Music, where Yoko Miwa is an assistant professor and also her alma mater, is participating in this celebration. Yoko’s music evokes the symbolism of the cherry blossoms, or sakura, themselves. Take The Day We Said Goodbye for example. Cherry blossoms represent the ephemeral nature of life in Japanese culture. Here, Yoko expresses this concept through the poetry of instrumental jazz.

You can see the Yoko Miwa Trio play on March 27th at the Regattabar. The Yoko Miwa Trip plans on playing a traditional Japanese song about sakura in honor of this important occasion. Click here for more information.

Photo by Listen Missy!.

Returning to the Regattabar on March 27, 2012

“One of Boston’s finest jazz trios.” — Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe

The Yoko Miwa Trio is set to perform on Tuesday, March 27th, at Regattabar (1 Bennett St., Cambridge, MA, located inside the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square).  The performance will feature Yoko Miwa on piano, Greg Loughman on bass, and Scott Goulding on drums.  Tickets are $20, and it is an all ages show.  We’re excited to be back at the Regattabar, one of the top jazz venues in the Boston area.  This is a show you won’t want to miss!

Tickets can be purchased here.

Wheel of Life

Photo by Kirsten Alana.

This bonsai tree was 800 years old when it died. Yet, even through death and the many years since, it still shares its beauty with the world. It has changed from a vibrant green to a stark, abstract shell. But it is still a bonsai tree; a tree that in both life and death brings a unique exquisiteness to the world. Despite the changes it has gone through, it is now a piece in a museum as a new incarnation of its former self.

With the first anniversary of the tsunami in Japan approaching, this photograph and Wheel of Life both capture the feelings about such a gigantic emotional episode in Japan’s history. Wheel of Life charts the ups and downs of existence with a deceptively simple circular form. “It’s about the life process,” Miwa explains, “from birth, struggle and the beautiful moments, then the bad and ultimately back to the beginning.” We all go through the ups and downs of the wheel of life, and Japan is experiencing it on a larger stage over the past year.

Through the epic changes wrought by the waters, Japan has come out a still beautiful nation. It has changed, but it will continue to persevere. The Japanese people are in our thoughts as they continue to rebuild their lives into new ones with new dreams.

Photo by Kirsten Alana.