Yuko Mabuchi, is more than a pianist she is the dynamic expression of the roots of her culture, her style, her own woman. Born in Fukui, Japan, an area known for its illustrious paper printing, clean air and fresh waters. While as a child Yuko then age 4, had her own identity which made it easier for her parents and friends to see just how talented she was. Her mother, herself a gifted pianist passed the torch to Yuko who performing long hours stepped into her own shoes. Yuko says. “a piano is a solo instrument. It can produce chords and melodies.” Fascinated by the American music of hip-hop, jazz, blues and R&B music, donning her traditional roots while in high school unlike other young people her age. Yuko’s interest and taste in music blossomed and continued to push her in a different direction. She seem to resonate with jazz. It’s sound and rhythms. A sound that fueled her deepest desire to move to America and perform.
Building up her chops and keeping those magic fingers nimble, Yuko perform vigorously locally eventually becoming a member of a jazz trio. Upon her arrival in 2010 into Los Angeles came to no surprise to anyone and Yuko continued her studies all the while performing in some of the city’s most prestigious venues. She returned to Japan for a short stay and to perform with her trio in 2013. In 2016 once again she found herself in LA. Her professional mannerisms and great love for jazz led she and her trio to perform at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Gigs turned mini concerts paved the way for her opening for the likes of Branford, Marsalis and making way for her entrance into the Blues Alley in DC as a guest of the National Cherry Blossoms Jazz Series. The Richmond Festival (VA) Detroit Institute of the Arts, SFJazz, the San Jose Winter Festival and the Walt Disney Hall (LA) as a featured pianist with ICYOLA.
A string of releases on both Vista and Yarrow Records one more brilliant than the other encouraged many young seekers of jazz and the arts to follow Yuko. Her tribute to Miles Davis awarded her “Jazz Album of the Year” by Native DSD, the City of LA Commendations in 2019 and can be purchased on an album or vinyl. Both commendations credited her as a jazz advocate and includes her work as a volunteer with SAPPA’s Watts-Willowbrook Conservatory, Watts-Willowbrook Youth Symphony and Watts-Willlowbrook Strings. Her elegance and grace when performing and playing the piano is a blissful experience on any occasion. Yuko’s latest CD is affectionately called, Yuko. A woman of her own making she calls the shots when working with her trio who have been with her since her arriving in the US.
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