Yoko is at the Regattabar on 4/25! Plus: a new video!

April 24th, 2014

Yoko plays at the Regattabar this Friday, April 25. Check out this great recommendation on The Arts Fuse site. From the preview:

The Boston pianist Yoko Miwa has an equal love for Bill Evans’ harmonic lyricism and Oscar Peterson’s driving swing, and she matches her own exploratory compositions with a taste for offbeat covers like Aerosmith’s “Seasons of Wither” and the Velvet Underground’s “Who Loves the Sun.” Which she plays as a medley — and it works.

Plus, check out the trio’s new promotional video:

More videos from the Blue Note, plus Regattabar tickets

April 16th, 2014

Here are two more videos from Yoko’s recent shows at the Blue Note in New York City. Thanks again to videographer Mariona Lloreta.

Want to see this music for yourself? Don’t miss Yoko at the Regattabar on April 25!


VIDEO: Yoko Miwa at the Blue Note in NYC!

April 10th, 2014

Yoko recently played two shows at the Blue Note. Here’s the trio playing “Pathways.” This video was shot by Mariona Lloreta.

Would you like to see and hear this music for yourself? Come to the Regattabar in Boston on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets here.


April 3rd, 2014

Yoko played a solo piano show in Hartford, CT, recently. Here’s a beautiful photo of the performance, taken by Ray Shaw:

Click for a larger version

Ken Vermes left a great comment under this photo on Yoko’s Facebook page: “If I walked into the Hartford Library and saw this — I would die and go to heaven!”

Yoko is playing a number of time in Boston and Cambridge throughout the month of April. Celebrate the springing of spring by supporting live jazz! Check out the shows page for details.

CT this weekend, plus a Blue Note review

March 26th, 2014

1009998_10152266948071620_568989318_n Yoko played two sets at New York’s famed Blue Note jazz club this past weekend. New York Music Daily said, “In her Blue Note debut yesterday, Yoko Miwa showed off a comfortable but hard-charging command of several jazz vernaculars.” Read the rest of the review here.

Yoko will be in Hartford (CT) this Sunday, March 30 for a free 3 p.m. show at the Hartford Public Library. Michael Hamad has a preview in the Hartford Courant. More information on the library’s Baby Grand Jazz series is here.

Yoko is at the Blue Note in NYC this weekend!

March 20th, 2014

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA Yoko plays two shows this Sunday at the Blue Note, one of New York’s most famous jazz clubs. Both are brunch shows, the first at 11:30 and the second at 1:30. Tickets are available here.

Here are some facts about The Blue Note:

  • Founded in 1981 by Danny Bensusan
  • Hosted many jazz giants, including Sarah Vaughn, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Tito Puente, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield.
  • Features both the Monday Night Series and the bi-weekly Late Night Groove Series, which offer emerging jazz stars a chance to play the club, and which also present soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk.
  • The Blue Note in New York City is the first, but it isn’t the only Blue Note. There are Blue Note clubs in Milan (Italy) and in both Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan. [Note from Jason: I once took a master class with Michael Brecker at the Tokyo Blue Note.]

What the heck is a “blue note,” anyway? Rather than try to describe it myself, I turned to the internet’s foremost repository of all human knowledge (!), Wikipedia:

In jazz and blues, a blue note (also “worried” note) is a note sung or played at a slightly lower pitch than that of the major scale for expressive purposes. Typically the alteration is a semitone or less, but this varies among performers and genres.

Now you know, and, in the words of the 80s cartoon GI JOE, “knowing is half the battle.” Hope to see you on Sunday at the Blue Note!

A personal memory of the Blue Note

March 12th, 2014

BlueNoteJazzClubAs I hope you know by now, Yoko will be at the Blue Note in New York City on March 23 for two brunch shows. Get your tickets here.

I’ve been at the Blue Note many times over the years because of my job, but probably the most memorable visit I ever made to this storied jazz club took place 21 years ago, when I was just 19.

From 1991-92, I lived in Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan. I was a Rotary exchange student. One year after I came back to the United States, a group of students from my town in Japan came to New York City for a visit, along with two adult chaperones, one of whom had been my friend when I lived in Japan. I was living in upstate New York at the time, so I hopped on a train and made the six hour trip down to the city to serve as their guide and interpreter.

This was hilarious on many levels. I’d been to NYC once in my life and knew next to nothing about the city. The students and their chaperones probably new more from their guide books than I knew from my brief personal experience. Plus, both the chaperones spoke English fairly well and really had no need of a translator. To be honest, I think they were just being nice and wanted to see me again.

The second night we were together, after all the students were settled in their rooms, the two chaperones (my friend Miki and a man whose name I can no longer remember), knocked on my door and said “Let’s go to the Blue Note.” They knew I was into jazz and they both wanted to see this famous club. So we hopped in a cab and headed to the West Village.

It turned out to be a special night. The Heath Brothers Reunion Band was playing, and the place was packed. My hosts bought us all tickets and we got great seats. The Heaths were in fine form. Really cooking on a bunch of post-bop tunes and standards. It was my first time in an American jazz club, although I’d been to some in Japan. I was so awestruck by the entire experience, and I can remember that feeling like it was yesterday.

Have you had your first Blue Note experience yet? If not, why not have it with Yoko Miwa’s music as the main event? And if you’ve already been there, it’s always a great time to go back again.

– Jason Crane

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Photo source

A new voice on the blog

March 5th, 2014

crane Hello to all of Yoko’s fans. I thought I’d take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Jason Crane, and starting today I’m taking over for Tegan as the writer of this blog. You’ll also find me on Facebook and Twitter updating Yoko’s pages. Tegan, our former blogger, is moving on to focus on graduate school. She can be reached at tegankehoe.com, and she remains a fan of the Yoko Miwa Trio.

A little about me: I host a popular jazz interview show called The Jazz Session, featuring in-depth interviews with jazz musicians from around the world. I’m also a poet and a freelance writer.

Like Yoko, I speak Japanese, though not as well as she does. I lived in Japan twice, first in northern Japan (Miyagi Prefecture), then in Yokohama. I saw lots of great jazz in both places, and interacted with many passionate jazz fans.

After years of living in New York City, I now live in the slightly less cosmopolitan town of State College, PA, home of Penn State. But I travel to New York often to conduct interviews and hear live music.

Speaking of which, I hope to see many of you in New York on March 23 when Yoko plays the 11:30 and 1:30 sets at the famed Blue Note jazz club. Get your tickets now!

I look forward to interacting with all of you and helping to get the word out about Yoko’s music.

Announcing the Regattabar show, April 25!

February 27th, 2014
Radio personality Lou Brutus has said “Music always sounds better on Friday.” You’ll get a chance to test that out on April 25, as the Yoko Miwa Trio’s annual show at Regattabar will be on that Friday this year. Check out this post if you haven’t been to Regattabar in Cambridge, MA before, then get your tickets online. They are only $20, which is a steal for a weekend night performance at such an important venue. Here’s a video of one of the Trio’s past performances there.

Announcing two concerts at Blue Note NYC

February 20th, 2014
New Yorkers… and people who go into the city for the right occasion! The Yoko Miwa Trio will be playing two brunch performances at Blue Note on Sunday, March 23. Blue Note, in Greenwich Village a block from Washington Square Park, is a modern jazz icon. For over thirty years, this intimate venue has been a center of innovation and sound showcasing jazz stars and the best of up-and-coming musicians.

Your ticket gets you entrance, brunch, and a drink. For the 11:30 show, doors open at 10:30. and for the 1:30 show, doors open at 12:45. We recommend getting there early, because seating is Manhattan style — lots of people, locals and tourists alike.

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