Flutist YUKARI has been gaining recognition within NYC’s music community as an innovative improviser. Now part of Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label. YUKARI is also quickly establishing herself as a uniquely gifted composer with a knack for hybridization – fusing world music, classical, chamber and modern Jazz establishing a sound which is very much her own.
Although music has been her passion and obsession since she was first introduced to the piano at the tender age of 5, YUKARI has been in a constant state of evolution and development as an artist. Though her academic pursuits led to a B.A. degree in Sociology and International Relations from Tokyo University for Foreign Studies, her musical predisposition took over immediately upon graduation.
YUKARI embarked on a novel approach after university, to re-immerse herself in the world of music by understanding its natural evolution in differing cultures. She traveled to over 20 countries, including India, Indonesia and Turkey and a number of European countries, to gain experience playing with local musicians and gaining a true appreciation for their musical styles. During her visit to Puerto Rico, she was even fortunate enough to perform with the Fania All Stars, world renowned Latin ensemble.
Since then, YUKARI has continued her ascent, appearing at some of the more notable venues in New York City including the Blue Note, Dizzie’s Club and even Carnegie Hall. She has been a featured performer with top-notch musicians like Anthony Braxton, Robert Dick and Marc Copland to name a few. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards for her virtuosity as a flutist. In 2009 she was the winner of the NFA’s Jazz Flute Master Class Competition and she was honored by Berklee College of Music with their Outstanding Musicianship Awards. In 2010 Japan Foundation invited her as a cultural ambassador to perform and give a master class in Jamaica.
YUKARI has been a resident of New York City in the past decade, arriving here in 2000 to study jazz at Manhattan School of Music and to be taught by a roster of the best contemporary jazz masters like, Steve Wilson, Dick Oatts, David Liebman, Jason Moran, and Greg Osby; as well as classical flutists, Patricia Spencer and Linda Chesis and Reiko Fueting, with whom she studied composition.
While pursuing her musical training, she continued to perform internationally, leading her group “SPICEPOT." Her first album, “Spectacular” was launched at the famed Tribeca Film Festival in 2003.
In addition to performing, YUKARI is also a devoted educator giving master classes for jazz flute and hosting improvisation workshops in the USA, Japan, Korea and EU.
Her composition credits include a several documentary films directed by a French director Patrick Morell, fiction film ”Limbo” directed by Japanese director Yoshitaka Mori and a yoga/meditation CD, “LUMINOUS,” which was released in 2009. She performed at Yoga Festival in Japan 2009 and 2010. She provided original music for the play, THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE NO PLACE directed by Jenn Ben Yakov, and performed at the Stahlhouderij Theater in Amsterdam and she scored a few independent films.
Yukari released her first jazz album for Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label in summer of 2010 titled, “Dreams”, featuring Ben Monder (guitar),Thomas Morgan (bass), Greg Hutchinson (drums), Greg Osby (alto sax), and Leon Gruenbaum (keys).