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Mineko Ogata Bio

 

Jazz legends Oscar Peterson, Bill Evand and Ella Fitzgerald's music was always in the air as Mineko grew up as the daughter of a jazz pianist father and a Hawaiian vocalist mother near Tokyo, Japan. 

 

From a young age, Mineko received classical piano and vocal training at her parents-owned music school, Plaza Music School.  Through classical music in her childhood and rock and pop music in her teens, Mineko started to play jazz in college.  Without receiving formal jazz training, but fascinated by Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Chopin, Debussy, Brahms, Bach, George Gershwin, John Williams, Ennio Morricone and others, Mineko found her own style and started composing original songs. 

 

She has released 3 CD albums, "Sky High" (quartett, 2001), "Shooting Star" (trio, 2004) and "Mineko Melody" (solo, 2007).  She has also toured and recorded with professional bands in Japan and the US, including renowned rock musician Diamond Yukai's "Night Life" projects.  Between 1997-2007, Mineko served as a radio council member for BAY-FM, a major radio station in Tokyo. In 2007, Mineko performed Jazz Mass, composed by Steve Dobrogosz, conducted by famous choir conductor, Kenji Otani, with a string ensemble and a choir, at Shirakawa hall in Nagoya. 

 

More recently, Mineko was influenced by Dayna Stephen, Dena DeRose, Madelline Eastman, Tupac Mantilla, Chick Corea, Fred Hersch, and Chucho Valdes, whom she met at the Stanford Jazz Institute in 2013.  Today, Mineko lives in central New Jersey with her husband and son, where she restarted composing and playing her original music since September 2019.
 

Talented pianist with a sense of freshness
Happy storyteller on piano
2nd Album "Shooting Star" on CD Journal Feb 2004

 

How audiences described Mineko:

"Mineko, You are Number 1. Simply the best!

Lyrical and energetic!
Inspired and mesmerized by Mineko's piano! Must listen!
Outstanding! She is definitely something else!
When I heard her play for the first time, I just say, "wow wow, WOOOOW"!
She is a great musician!

Her music is so beautiful, really great! What a gem!

I love when you were singing the lines with your piano

You are a good artist. I like you."

After her shows by audience.

 

Mineko Ogata likes playing her own compositions and favorite jazz standards. 

Through classical music in her childhood, and rock and pop music in her teens, in college she started to play jazz by piano and compose original songs. 

Mineko will share several with us this evening. 

 

October 23, 2021 Cafe Improv at Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, Princeton, NJ

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ABOUT MINEKO: The music of Jazz legends Oscar Peterson, Bill Evand and Ella Fitzgerald was always in the air as Mineko grew up the daughter of a jazz pianist father and a Hawaiian vocalist mother near Tokyo, Japan.  From a young age, Mineko received classical piano and vocal training at her parents-owned music school, Plaza Music School.  Through classical music in her childhood and rock and pop music in her teens, Mineko began playing jazz in college.

With no formal jazz training, but fascinated by a pantheon of stars from the jazz (Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman) and classical worlds (Chopin, Debussy, Brahms, Bach, George Gershwin, John Williams, Ennio Morricone and others), Mineko crafted her own style in performance and composition.  

Mineko’s many musical projects include: 

•    Three CD albums: "Sky High" (quartet, 2001), "Shooting Star" (trio, 2004)
     and "Mineko Melody" (solo, 2007).

•    Tours and recordings with many professional bands in Japan and the US,
     including renowned rock musician Diamond Yukai's "Night Life" projects.

•     Mineko served as a radio council member for BAY-FM Between 1997-2007,
      a major radio station in Tokyo.

•     Mineko performed Steve Dobrogosz’s “Jazz Mass” in 2007, conducted by
      renowned choir conductor, Kenji Otani, together with a string ensemble
      and choir, at Shirakawa hall in Nagoya.

•     More recent influences have included Dayna Stephen, Dena DeRose,
      Madelline Eastman, Tupac Mantilla, Chick Corea, Fred Hersch, and Chucho
      Valdes, all of whom she met while attending the Stanford Jazz Institute in
      2013.  

Mineko currently lives in central New Jersey with her husband and son, where she only recently restarted her performing and composing activities.

Salon 33,
December 10th, 2021

Chick Corea and me.jpeg

With Chick Corea at Stanford Univ. 2014

ミュージシャン(父親ジャズピアニスト、母親ハワイアン・ポップス歌手)の家庭に生まれ、両親が個人経営する当時千葉市内で音大受験コースがあった最大の個人音楽教室(現在は両親他界のため閉室)でクラシック音楽教育(ピアノ・ソルフェージュ・作曲など)を受ける。

 

中学・高校時代で、それまでのクラシックに加え、様々なジャンルを弾きだし、当時バンドブームだった高校生のご多分にもれず、ロック→ハードロックでピアノだけでなくドラムを叩く。

 

全国クラスのブラバンを目指し、習志野高校に入り1年だけ在籍。フルート、ピアノ、雑用(パシリ)で活躍し、全国クラスとはどういうものかをたっぷり海外公演も含めて味合うが、2年目に生徒会役員になり、退部。ロータリーの使節としてタイで1ヶ月過ごす。

大学時代に、ジャズを実際にやり始め、他大生として早稲田大学モダンジャズ研究会に所属当時、和楽器フュージョンのプロバンドにスカウトされ、ツアーライブのキーボーディストとして、国内外のツアーに加わり、プロ活動を始める。大学卒業後はしばらく、地方自治体の国際交流協会・国際産別に務める昼間の仕事をしながら、活動を続け、オリジナル・アルバムを3枚リリース、ライブ・コンサートを行う。舞台音楽制作(劇伴)、出演、ツアー帯同も行っており、DAIAMOND YUKAIナイトライフツアー・レコーディング帯同、JAZZ MASS(スティーブドブロゴス作)を弦楽アンサンブル・合唱団とともに、しらかわホール、すみだトリフォニーホールで大谷研二先生指揮の下、演奏。

 

2007年より数年おきに家族の仕事で、アメリカと日本の引越を数回する。

それまでに、住んだところは、千葉→東京→ドイツ→愛知県→長野県→米国・ボストン→大阪箕面市→米国・サンフランシスコ近郊(パロアルト)→大阪・東京三鷹→米国NJプリンストン←今ここ

結婚、出産、病などで、2019年までの10年強、ボストンでのライブ活動を最後に音楽活動から一時撤退。2019年より、ローカルテレビやチャーチなどで弾き始めていました、が、コロナですべてなくなり、再度修行中の身に。ボストンでジャズライブ活動をしてから10数年。現在、もう一度ここアメリカでライブ活動とアルバム、プロジェクトを始めました。

 

2021年11月17日 R&B JPOP 歌シングル Any Me Can Be Me リリース 

Playing Sky High, a Mineko's original coposition, with Chick Corea, California, 2014
 
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