Rina Yamazaki

Biography

Rina Yamazaki was born and raised in the fertile farmland prefecture of Saitama, Japan. She discovered her love of jazz music early in life and gravitated towards piano and later incorporated organ and thus was the beginning of her musical journey. Her pursuit of music, and jazz specifically led her to the United States, after being accepted into the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

She encountered legendary musicians who taught her and mentored her, guiding her musical growth legendary Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone.

In 2018 summer, Rina Yamazaki won the Second Place and also won the Nu Jazz Agency's Chico & Lupe O'Farrill Award for Best Original Composition at the Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition. The competition was unlike any other music contest in the world. With over $200,000 (USD) in cash and prizes, and over 160 entries from 13 different countries as one of seven finalists, it was certain to be no easy task. The music competition covered the genres of Bebop, Jazz Standards, New Orleans Style, Modern Jazz, Latin Jazz, and Post-Bop as well as the formats of Solo Piano, Piano Trio, Piano Quartet (One group with a Vocalist & another with an Instrumentalist), and even required the competitor to perform an original composition with their trio. Sitting in judgment was National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Masters Ellis & Branford Marsalis, 5-time Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner Arturo O'Farrill, and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert Band Leader Jon Batiste.

Since then Rina Yamazaki has played in Jonathan Batiste's Stay Human, the house band for The Late Show with Stephan Colbert. Rina was nominated as "Jazz Artist of the Year" by the Boston Music Award 2018, recorded with Peter Washington, Neal Smith, Jerome Jennings, "Mimi" Sullivan, Dezron Douglas, Dayeon Seouk and countless other national and international jazz legends. She has performed sold-out engagements at such internationally famous venues as Blues Alley and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and tours regularly both in the U.S. and internationally with her trio.

Rina Yamazaki

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