Since moving to New York in 1995, Eri Yamamoto has established herself as one of the city’s most original and compelling pianists and composers. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock has said, “My hat’s off to her… already she’s found her own voice.” The Eri Yamamoto has built a strong following with frequent appearances around New York, and has toured the US, UK and Japan. She has released four critically acclaimed CD’s, most recently “Cobalt Blue” on the Thirsty Ear label.
Since 2000, Eri’s trio with bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi has been appearing regularly at Arthur’s Tavern, a historic jazz club in New York’s Greenwich Village. The Trio has also appeared at several international festivals and concert halls, including Cheltenham, UK; Cardiff, Wales, and throughout her native Japan. Eri appeared as a featured soloist at the Jazz on Rafale concert series in Montreal and as a member of William Parker’s Sextet at the Roccella Jazz Festival in Italy. She recently toured Holland and Italy with William Parker and Hamid Drake, she also toured Wales; UK and 20 cities in Japan with her own trio.
Eri was born in Osaka, Japan, and began playing classical piano at age three. She started writing music when only eight years old, and studied voice, viola, and composition through her high school and college years. In 1995, she visited New York for the first time, and by chance heard Tommy Flanagan performing. It was her first experience of a jazz piano trio, and she was so inspired that she decided on the spot that she would move to New York City and dedicate herself to this music. Later that year, Eri entered the New School University’s prestigious jazz program, where she studied with Junior Mance, LeeAnn Ledgerwood, and Reggie Workman. While still in school, she played many gigs around New York.
In 1999 she started playing regularly at the Avenue B Social Club, a popular spot among jazz musicians in the East Village. There she developed a musical friendship with fellow pianist Matthew Shipp.
She has been performing regularly with William Parker and Daniel Carter, and appears on Parker’s trio CD, “Luc’s Lantern,” for which she has been favorably singled out in many reviews, and his new sextet CD, “Cornmeal Dance.” She has also worked with such musical luminaries as Ron McClure, Andy McKee, Lewis Barns, Rob Brown, Leena Conquest, Federico Ughi, Arthur Kell, Kevin Tkacz, Christopher Dean Sullivan and Michael T. A.Thompson.
“An extraordinarily rich compositional sensibility – to say nothing of a delicate touch."
--Time Out New York
“As the denizens of Arthur’s Tavern in Greenwich Village undoubtedly know, pianist Eri Yamamoto is one of jazz’s most dynamic new talents. Her compositional style augments her deft, inventive playing.”
--All About Jazz New York
“Her pulsating piano, with it’s insistent rhythms, soon won over her audience as she launched into a couple of her own compositions.”
--Gloucestershire BBC Radio
“Eri has become a fixture in the jazz world… She has collaborated with some of the finest musicians in the field and has recorded several of her own solo jazz recordings and toured extensively with her own groups. She fully understands the traditions of jazz and is adept at playing her own fine compositions as well as bringing her own interpretations to the jazz standards."
“Her style is very fresh and very original, and her mysterious, simple melody is indicative of how talented she is. Besides her originals she plays standards very well and she already has her own personal expression. “
--Swing Journal Magazine, Japan