“Yayoi shines as a singer in addition to being an adept arranger and composer. She is also a surprisingly supple improviser, who seamlessly improvises as competently as any horn player would, and does so with a confidence and unobtrusiveness that draws the listener in more closely .” —J.D. Walter

Born in Osaka, Japan, Yayoi started her musical studies on piano at three years old, and a few years later began her practice of Shigin, a traditional Japanese operatic form of poetry recitation.

In her teenage years Yayoi’s Shigin vocals garnered much recognition, including her renowned 1996 Festival Hall performance for King Records. She was a finalist at the Osaka Prefecture Shigin Festival (Osaka Fu Rengo Shigin Taikai) every year from 1996-2001 and was runner up in 2002-03. Yayoi was also a finalist at the prestigious Japan National Shigin Competition (Aiokoku Rengo Shigin Taikai) from 2000-2004.

Concurrently, Yayoi performed vocals in the Osaka club scene improvising with major Drum n Bass and House Music DJs at Club Down, Joule and elsewhere in the late 1990s. In 2000 she won the Kansai region in an a cappella competition sponsored by Sony Music.

Yayoi taught Shigin for several years while she expanded into to her new love, jazz. She began working with notables such as Yoshio ‘Chin’ Suzuki (Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers), Hisatsugu Suzuki and many others. Yayoi was also featured on a Jazz Bank label compilation release in 2002.

After arriving in New York, Yayoi studied with Karrin Allyson, J.D. Walter, Eri Yamamoto, David Hazeltine, and Jeannette LoVetri. She was also selected to participate in Bobby McFerrin’s workshop at Carnegie Hall in the Spring of 2008.

Yayoi released her debut album Introducing Yayoi in late 2009. Along with her nationwide tour of Japan,Introducing Yayoi was featured in the press and on radio broadcasts throughout Japan, including a 2 hour special with Yayoi on FM Kanagawa.

Last year Yayoi became a mother, giving birth to a beautiful baby daughter.

Yayoi is currently completing her second 2nd featuring her original compositions and brought to life by an amazing group of musicians including : James Hurt, Lars Ekman, Quincy Davis, Marvin Sewell, Akihito Obama and special guests.
Look for it in 2015 !