Yayoi Ikawa

Pianist/Composer Yayoi Ikawa was born in Tokyo, Japan where she started playing piano at the age of three. She quickly became a classical pianist, however, she decided to postpone further musical studies at the age of twelve. Eventually she found her interest in jazz and joined the college big band as a bandleader/pianist. After a few visits to the United States, Yayoi decided to become a Jazz Musician. As soon as she completed her studies of economics at the International Christian University in 1999, she moved to New York City.

She continued her studies at the New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music Studies department with many legends of jazz such as Geri Allen, Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Lee-Ann Ledgerwood, and Gerard D'Angelo. But her most influential professor was legendary bassist Reggie Workman. Under his instruction, she followed the creation of John Coltrane's music and learned how to express pure emotion. She was selected to perform at 2001 Beacons In Jazz Award Gala as an outstanding student. She was also featured in "Jazz Now! A Showcase of New Talent" at Birdland in 2002, and was awarded Henry and Gill Block Scholarship. At her graduation she gave her senior recital featuring her own compositions.

Ms. Ikawa performs regularly with the world famous musicians: Reggie Workman, Charlie Parship, Butch Morris, Frank Lacy, Charles Fambrough, etc. She was the only Japanese musician in World Music Concert "One Voice, One World" at Town Hall. She is currently active as a leader of her solo, duo, trio and quartet projects. During the summer 2003 and 2004 she was a visiting performer/educator (piano and ensembles) at the International Jazz and Dance Academy in Slovenia with Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Jimmy Owen, Doug Hammond, Kevin Jones and Kevin Burke. She is also a gospel pianist, and she has been playing at St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair, NJ where she is the youth choir director every Sunday since 2002.

Her first CD as a leader, Angel Eyes, was released in Japan in 2004, and her second self-produced CD, Color of Dreams, was released in the USA in 2005.