Photo by Jonas Alvarez
Yumi Ito (1990) is a Swiss musician, composer and actress with Polish-Japanese roots, living in Basel, Switzerland. In 2015, she completed the Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Singing at the Zurich University of the Arts and in 2017 she received her master's degree in Jazz vocals and composition at Jazzcampus Basel Guillermo Klein, Mark Turner, Jorge Rossy, Larry Grenadier, Lisette Spinnler and Jeff Ballard.
2017 Ito was elected by Wolfgang Muthspiel to participate in the prestigious Focus Year Band program and was a part of the eight-member ensemble for a year. The international band performed and was coached weekly by musicians such as Dave Holland, Avishai Cohen, Django Bates, Steve Swallow, Lionel Loueke and Kurt Rosenwinkel and performed at the Opus Jazz Club Budapest, Porgy and Bess Vienna, Off Beat Festival to name a few.
As a bandleader, sidewoman and arranger, Yumi Ito works in jazz, theater, film music and improvised music. Yumi has recorded three albums under her name: "Intertwined" (2016, Unit Records), "Ypsilon" (2017, For What Records) and "Songchestra", which will be published in 2020. Her main projects include the eleven-member Yumi Ito Songchestra, Yumi Ito Quartet and the duo of Polish guitarist Szymon Mika. She has toured in Iceland, Japan, Brazil, Poland, France, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
As part of a compositional residency, Yumi Ito was invited twice to East of Iceland in August 2018 and June 2019 to work on the music for her current projects. She is a winner of the Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition 2015, performed with the DKSJ Band 2016 under the baton of Arthur Hnatek, and became a member of the winner band of the generation Frauenfeld Band in the following summer 2017 with trombonist and composer Adrian Mears toured through Swiss jazz clubs. In 2016 she was invited by Yaron Herman to the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival to perform her own compositions with Ziv Ravitz and Joe Martin. In the summer of 2013, Ito also studied with Gretchen Parlato, Bob Stoloff, Jay Clayton, and Bobby McFerrin during a two-month stay in New York.
Yumi Ito (solo / quartet with band)
Yumi Ito Songchestra
Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika Duo
Current Projects as sidewoman
Der Grosse Bär
Luca Sisera's DEER HAVEN
Vaclav Palka's Poens.
Niko Seibold's European Song
Yumi Ito Orchestra - Stardust Crystals (2020)
Aktomis - Perfect Town (2019)
Marton Juhasz Group - Discovery (2019)
Contemporary Big Band - Nine Yards (2019)
Alex And The Wavemakers - EP (2018)
Focus Year Band 2018: After This (2018)
Andreo / Van Rechem 17tet: A x √R + 15 (2018)
Yumi Ito & Yves Theiler: Ypsilon (2017)
Arthur Hnatek DKSJ: Hendecagone (2016)
Yumi Ito Quartet: Intertwined (2016)
Awards / Residencies / Scholarships
2019 Artist in Residence Neskapustadur, Iceland
2019 Nomination for the ZKB Jazzprize with the Yumi Ito Orchestra in Moods Zürich, Switzerland
2018 Artistic Curator for the Guck Mal Günther Festival Lenzburg, Switzerland
2018 Artist in residence in St. Moritz, Switzerland
2018 Composition residency in Eskifjördur, Iceland
2017 Focus Year Stipend Basel, Switzerland
2016 Generations Unit Band, Jazzfestival Frauenfeld, Switzerland
2016 SOFIA (Support Of Female Improvising Artists) Zürich, Switzerland
2016 Award of the Lyceum Club Zürich, Switzerland
2016 Montreux Jazz Academy, Switzerland
2015 Winner of the Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition (Jurymitglied Al Jarreau), Switzerland
2014 Scholarship Siena Jazz Festival Workshops, Italy
2019 Actress in "Sweatshop Deadly Fashion" at the Schauspielhaus Zürich (Regie: Sebastian Nübling)
2019 Performer in "Hail To The Thief" at the Gessnerallee Zürich (Regie: Marielle Sterra)
2018 Actress in "Die Macht der Gewohnheit" at the Everding Akademie München (Regie: Benjamin Truong)
2009 Actress in "Creeps" at Qbus Uster (Regie: Anjelika Oberholzer)
2008 Actress in "Lampenfieber" at Qbus Uster(Regie: Anjelika Oberholzer)
2007 Actress in "Don Juan" at Qbus Uster (Regie: Anjelika Oberholzer)
Studiomusician for the animation movies "Coyote" und "Lachfalten" for YK Animation Studio and the short movie "Tote Tiere"