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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

Mineko on piano

ミュージシャン(ジャズピアニストの父、ハワイアン歌手出身の母)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を備えた最大の個人音楽教室でクラシック音楽総合教育を受ける。

 

中学・高校時代で、それまでのクラシックに加え、様々なジャンルのバンド活動を歴てピアノ・キーボード、ドラムを担当する。

大学時代よりジャズをやり始め、ジャズ研所属時、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、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、都内を主にライブ・コンサートを行う。映像舞台音楽制作(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。

結婚、出産など人生のイベントなどで、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、2022年より、アメリカでアーティスト活動をNYのお隣NJから正式に再開。

 

2021年11月17日 Any Me Can Be Me リリース 
2022年12月3日 Piano Solo At Home Series December 2022 リリース予定