Chieko Yano

Chieko Yano


Jazz vocalist/pianist/composer.


Chieko Yano is an intriguing and talented musician who is making a name for herself throughout the Midwest and beyond. Born in Yokohama, Japan, Yano began playing classical piano at the age of three. She developed her own musical vocabulary through the experience of various other instruments, including saxophone, voice, guitar, and bass. She received formal training from jazz pianist, Frank Caruso, and concert pianist, Michael Yanovitsky. After working for several years as a vocalist, pianist, and arranger in Tokyo, Yano moved to Chicago in 1998.
She soon appeared on the famed Chicago jazz scene as a pianist. She performed at such reputable venues as Pops for Champagne, Isaac Hayes Center, Hot House, Fitzgerald's, Smoke Daddy, Velvet Lounge, and M Lounge. She also began a long-running residency at Cafe Shino's Piano Bar .

Yano's experience at these venues gave her the opportunity to perform with a number of respected musicians. She shared the stage with Winton Marsalis, Harold Jones, and Carl Allen. She also performed with Tom Garling, a trombone player whom she would eventually marry.

Following her marriage to Garling, Yano settled in the United States. She started to reconsider her roots and origins. This led to a desire to incorporate Asian-influenced sounds into her brand of jazz. It was also at this time that Yano began focusing on her singing and vocal compositions.

Yano will be releasing her first album in June, 2007. It will include jazz standards, originals, and Japanese folk songs. She is fortunate to have some of the best musicians in Chicago featured on the album. Some of these include Garling, sax player Geof Bradfield, bassist Patt Willians, bassist Matt Young and drummer Noritaka Tanaka.

The self-produced CD has different approaches to the genre of jazz: it combines a taste of Asian flavor with vocal overdubbing. It also features classical sonata forms, classical impressionism harmony, odd meter changes, and interesting key changes. It is both Yano's wide vocal range and strong musical background which allow these different elements to blend so well. As further proof of her musical talents, Yano also plays the classical guitar on her new CD.

Currently, Yano is performing in Chicago and the surrounding region. She sings in both Japanese and English. This flexibility is now an essential element to her sound. Live, Yano emphasizes improvisation and her piano playing. She considers herself a pianist who happens to sing, rather than a vocalist who plays the piano. Her performance has been known to sway from sensitive and evocative one minute, to feisty, playful, and ferocious the next. Yano's performance can be seen every Tuesday at Cafe Shino (211E.Ontario, Chicago), and 3rd Friday of every month at the Dragonfly Mandarin Restaurant (832 W. Randolph St., Chicago).


Chieko Yano has performed with:

Taku Akiyama, Carl Allen, Geof Bradfield, Vincent Davis, Savoir Faire, John Fedchock, Tom Garling, Phil Gratteau, Harold Jones, Bob Long, Winton Marsalis, Scott Mason, Rob Parton, Marlene Rosenberg, Noritaka Tanaka, Mayo Tiana, Patrick Williams, Barry Winograd,

She has performed at:
Jazz Showcase, Pops for Champagne, Greenmill, Isaac Hayes Center, Hot House, Fitzgerald's, Smoke Daddy, M Lounge, Cafe Shino's Piano Bar, Meson Sabika, Velvet Lounge, Chicago's First Lady, Wendella Boat, Small Bar, Salvartore's Restaurant, Taste of Chicago, Tower Club, the Chicago Club, the Charleston, Hilton Hotels, Marriott, and the Congress Hotel


Blue Sonata

Written By: Chieko Yano

Sometimes I wonder if you love me ‘cause I feel it’s so true.
Your hand, your hair, your lips on me.
You said “ That’s it” at the end of day with your smile and charm.
Was it just for now? Or was it for good?

Some nights I recall when we first met, I couldn’t resist your charm.
Your voice, your talk, your smile, so sweet.
Sometimes I wonder if you love me ‘cause I feel it’s so true.
Your hand, your hair, your lips on me.
Your touch, your hug, your kiss, feel so true

Should I Wait For

Written By: Chieko Yano

On my way home, I got off the train
Oh, outside it's soaked with rain

I'm feeling cold frustrated and blue
How can I work this matter through
Should I wait for rain to pass or hurry home and get wet?

You are indifferent these days
I've been waiting but the phone never rings

I'm feeling cold frustrated and blue
How can I work this matter through
Should I wait for rain to pass or hurry home and get wet?

I am annoyed by this changing weather
It's month of June but might as well be winter

I'm feeling cold frustrated and blue
How can I work this matter through
Should I wait for rain to pass or hurry home and get wet?

The Moment You Touch Me

Written By: Chieko Yano

Do you know how I feel every time I drive this way?
It's the path that leads me to your door steps.
Small ups and downs on the hills.
And I see your lights are on.

Why haven't you yet appeared in my dream when I sleep?
You stepped out and welcomed me to your place.
I see swirling green and blue turn into a picture.
And all that I can do is just to kiss you on your neck.
Like a long forgotten fairy tale.

Maybe it's a dream, one of my day dreams, maybe it's the moment you touch me.


Blue Sonata (2007)

Set List

For restaurants and bars:
3 sets of 45 min. over 3~3.5 hours.
Repertoire : Jazz standards, Japanese folks, originals.

For private parties:
solo piano - non stop background music until 3 hours. Repertoire - jazz standard, great american pops, holiday music, classical music for wedding ceremonies.
Jazz combo - 10min break is required every 1 hour. CDs are played during the breaks. Repertoire: jazz standard.

Song List Samples:

Jazz Standard:
Autumn Leaves, All of Me, All the things You Are, Afternoon in Paris, Like Someone in Love, Time after Time, East of the Sun, I Love You, I Should Care, My Romance, Take A-Train, How my Heart Sings, Just Friends, Killer Joe, There Will Never Be Another You, Up Jumped Spring, Very Early, Alice in the Wonderland, Here's that Rainy Day, Blame it On My Youth, Everything Happens to Me, Round Midnight, Polkadots and Moonbeams, Blue in Green, Body and Soul, Peace, Solitude, When Sunny gets Blue, Beautiful Love, Alone Together, Yesterday