Based in New York, pianist/composer Mina Yu has worked in many capacities, as a bandleader, sideman, musical director and educator. Her debut album “Papa’s Records,” released back in May and we’re now playing catch up. Although clearly infused with jazz, the album stands out for her unique piano sounds such as human heart and joyful originals that is part American and part Korean, combining with 70s funk rhythms, rap, and jazz vocals.
Currently, working as a faculty member at LaGuardia Community College and York College, Mina has performed at a host of prestigious New York venues. These include Webster Hall, Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, Joe’s Pub, New York Live Arts, Manhattan School of Music, Convent Avenue Baptist Church, The Bitter End, The Cutting Room NYC, the Metropolitan Room and Toshi’s Living Room. In January 2015, she flew to South Korea where she presented successful shows at All that Jazz, Itaewon and Club Monk, Changwon. Mina has toured internationally, performing at the Jazzaar Festival in Switzerland with Adam Rogers, Helen sung and Terri Lyne Carrington. She has also toured England, performing at the Guil Fest.
For the 2015-16 season, Mina served as regular pianist for the Manhattan Country School, preK-8 private school in NYC. That same year Mina served as musical director and pianist for the hip-hop group Crossculture and pianist for the Off-Broadway musical “Aida” and “Jekyll and Hyde”. Mina received a degree at the Berklee College of Music and a master’s in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music.
“Papa’s Records” is a re-creation of Lu’s father’s collection of LPs. Her creativity shines through on this exceptional album, six standout tracks delivered with a warm and soulful style that is in touch with the classic sound of jazz, but pushes forward with the current understanding of what contemporary jazz is – a genre that embraces improvisation and forward-thinking spirits. Nearly impossible to pick a favourite track.
Enjoy and spread the word!