Yoko Miwa Trio
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Yoko Miwa Trio

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000 | MAJOR

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | MAJOR
Established on Jan, 2000
Band Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Yoko Miwa Shines"

“Listening to Yoko Miwa play the piano is like listening to the

stars that shine at night twinkle at various decibels as they

frame the celestial bodies in the evening sky with sound

waves of elation and startling beauty.” - Jazzreview.com

"Yoko Takes Command"

“Yoko Miwa demonstrates a full command of the inner-directed, post-Bill Evans piano idiom, which also takes in the work of Keith ]arrett and, to lesser extents, Chick Corea and Steve Kuhn… displays her burgeoning talent as a writer of melodically inviting, impressionistic material, as well as introducing a technically assured soloist with a clean, singing sound and an occasional penchant for the blues in pastels.” - Albert Isaacs

"Flowing Melodies, Gorgeous and Unpretentious"

“The pianist has an engaging way of repeating a phrase, drawing the listener in before she lets the melodic flow go free again, telling stories full of concise and beautifully-rendered ideas…. The variety of styles Miwa commands, while maintaining a start-to-finish cohesion of sound on Fadeless Flower, is impressive. A gorgeous and unpretentious set of straightahead jazz.” - All About Jazz

"Yoko's Compelling Second Album"

“Her second album as a leader is one of the warmest, most unapologetically lyrical jazz albums of the year… Miwa displays her facility with a variety of styles on this all-original program….what's consistently impressive is her ability to deliver complex and challenging musical ideas in a compelling and yet frequently gentle and inviting way.” - All Music Guide

"True Intelligence"

This is trio jazz worth listening to. There is fiber in its congeniality. Like those talks with Carl Sagan, or more aptly, Leonard Bernstein. True intelligence is never boring. - Tucson Citizen

"The lyrical sensibility of a jazz poet"

Fadeless Flower


Pianist Yoko Miwa displays unpretentious melodies, elegant phrasing, and the lyrical sensibility of a jazz poet on Fadeless Flower, her second trio release. A native of Kobe, Japan, Miwa began playing classical piano at age 4. She first studied jazz under Makoto Ozone’s father before earning a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she later became a faculty member.

Miwa strives to sing through the piano, and for someone who didn’t take up jazz until 1996, she’s a remarkably fluent mainstream player with a graceful touch and a self-assured notion of where each tune is headed.

Along with bassist Greg Loughman and drummer Scott Goulding, Miwa crafts impressionistic sound poems offset by splashes of cool blues. Many of her original instrumentals are Bill Evans-like in their introspection, but Miwa’s passionate playing renders them accessible. From the wistful beauty of the opening track “Sorrowful Moon,” to the stirring gospel touches of the album’s closer “Finding the Sun,” the mood often shifts between melancholia and exultation. The trio also shows a playful side on “Blues in the Cave,” a laid-back shuffle, and “Black Bunny,” an uptempo swing number suggestive of Oscar Peterson. The aptly named title track is a waltz marked by delicate exchanges between the pianist and her two disciplined partners.

Comparisons to fellow Berklee alum Hiromi are probably inevitable. Although both pianists are brilliant from a technical standpoint, they differ greatly in style and tone. Whereas Hiromi’s dazzling blend of jazz and rock often blows like a typhoon, Miwa’s gentle compositions waft like a soft summer breeze.

-Ed Kopp - Jazziz Magazine

"Outstanding Japanese Female Jazz Piano Star"

The Yoko Miwa Trio - Fadeless Flower (Miwa, piano; Greg Loughman, bass; Scott Goulding, drums) - Polystar P.J.L. MTCJ-3009: (Release date: June 15)

Another outstanding Japanese female jazz piano star is with us, hard on the heels of the phenomenal Hiromi (reviewed twice here last month). This is already the second album as leader for Ms. Miwa, who began her studies with the father of famed jazz pianist Makoto Ozone, and has served as accompanist to vocalist Kevin Mahogany. In 2001 she was a featured performer at the Kennedy Center's “Mary Lou William's Women in Jazz Festival.” All nine tracks here are her originals and each has a song-like sense about them that seem to perfectly fit the album's titled Fadeless Flower - which is also a waltz-tempo tune on the album. She observes, “I’m always trying to sing when I play a solo, I mean sing through my piano phrasing.” Her trio members support her effectively by avoiding overstating their parts - especially the tasteful drummer. Not all the tunes are so lyrical however; some are straight-ahead swingers with some active bluesy left-hand chording. Her clean and singing sound is beautifully transmitted by the high quality recording on this new-to-me Japanese label.

~ John Henry
- Audiophile Audition


Still working on that hot first release.



“Pianist Yoko Miwa displays unpretentious melodies, elegant phrasing, and the lyrical sensibility of a jazz poet.”
—Jazziz Magazine

Japanese pianist Yoko Miwa has earned a reputation as one of the jazz world’s lyrical, melodic, and accessible players. All Music Guide says that “what's consistently impressive is her ability to deliver complex and challenging musical ideas in a compelling and yet frequently gentle and inviting way.” She has released four CDs on major labels in Japan and has become a critically acclaimed and internationally recognized touring performer and educator.

The Day We Said Good Bye (Sunshine Digital, Japan), Miwa’s fourth CD as a leader, was recorded by the Yoko Miwa Trio at WGBH Studio One. The trio, here comprised of Miwa, Kendall Eddy (acoustic bass) and Scott Goulding (drums), played together in the same room, so the recording captures the immediacy and energy of a live performance. The CD contains two originals, one of which, the title track, Miwa dedicated to two of her friends who had recently passed.

The disc departs from her first three—which feature all original tunes—by containing mostly compositions by other artists. It includes renditions of standards by Thelonius Monk and Leonard Bernstein, as well as by modern jazz composers such as Keith Jarrett, Jaco Pastorius, and Larry Goldings. There are also songs by popular artists such as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. Miwa put her own personal stamp on the songs while maintaining their integrity. “I adapted the songs for a piano trio but also figured out where to take liberty for improvisation. I want to make them my own but still recognizable enough so you know what tune it is without having to look at the title on the CD,” she says.

Since her arrival in 1997 in Boston, Massachusetts, she’s forged a prominent place in the city’s jazz scene. The Yoko Miwa Trio is a favorite at the area’s jazz venues and has been a house band at Ryles since 2002. Her 2009 sold-out debut at Scullers Jazz Club filled the popular club with an enthusiastic crowd. The trio has appeared on “Eric in the Evening” on WGBH, was featured on the National Public Radio show “Jazz After Hours,” and was interviewed live on the popular radio show “Voice of America,” which is broadcast worldwide.

Born in Kobe, Japan, Miwa studied classical piano from the age of four and then eventually studied with jazz organist/pianist Minoru Ozone (the father of the well known Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone). She won a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and after graduation became the personal accompanist for Grammy award-winning jazz singer Kevin Mahogany. In 2001, Miwa was a featured performer in Washington D.C. at The Kennedy Center’s “Mary Lou William's Women in Jazz Festival.” Her performance and recording credits include Slide Hampton, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Hunt, Kevin Mahogany, John Lockwood, Johnathan Blake, and Mike Turk.

Band Members