Miki Yamanaka is a New York-based jazz pianist who is making her mark with a deft touch and a keen compositional sense. Get to know our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the week.

NAME: Miki Yamanaka

HOMETOWN: Kobe, Japan

MUSICAL TRAINING: Since I was five years old. I also went to Queens College in New York to get my Master's Degree in Jazz Performance. 

FIRST GIGS: I didn't have gigs in New York for a long time. I played at a nursing home and cocktail bars and such. Then I started playing at the jazz club Smalls regularly with Philip Harper in 2014.

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Cedar Walton, Horace Silver, Geri Allen, Andrew Hill.


miki edit

MY BIG BREAK: After I started playing at Smalls with the trumpeter Philip Harper, I started working there often and I started running the jam session at their sister club, Mezzrow after it opened. 

LATEST PROJECTS: My official debut record Miki from Cellar Live Records was released in August 2018.


FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I play the Hammond Sk1 and Sk2 for organ gigs. It has the best organ sound ever! It's easy to use and they have nice and dirty sound

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? : I want to travel the world with music.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Playing with people is the best way to get better at music.

For more information visit www.mikiyamanaka.com