Yumi Ito was born in 1990 in Basel (CH) and grew up in a polish-japanese family of musicians. She started playing the piano at the age of three and gave her piano debut with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the “Tonhalle” hall in Zurich five years later. From the age of 13, she has studied classical singing with her mother, Margo Cadias and later on specialized in Jazz. She took lessons with teachers as Lisette Spinnler, Gretchen Parlato, Theo Bleckmann, Becca Stevens, Marianne Racine, Efrat Alony and Bobby McFerrin. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) and a Master's degree in Vocal Jazz Pedagogy from the Hochschule für Musik Basel (Jazzcampus) where she also studied composition with Guillermo Klein, Jorge Rossy and Mark Turner. Currently she is taking part in the 1-year-coaching-program called "Focus Year Band" which was founded by Wolfgang Muthspiel (www.focusyearbasel.com).
At the age of 24 Yumi Ito has recorded her first album together with Yves Theiler, Gabriel Dalvit and Yuri Goloubev in London, toured through Japan and Europe and just released her second album "Ypsilon" in duo with pianist Yves Theiler at the Off Beat Festival Basel. Yumi Ito was awarded the Scholarship of Siena Jazz as the first singer and won the 3d prize in the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival's Shure Vocal Competition (president of the jury: Al Jarreau) as the only representant of Switzerland, Poland and Japan. She got invited to take part in the Montreux Jazz Academy and got selected to perform at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival with Yaron Herman. She composes and arranges for her 11-people "Yumi Ito Orchestra" and smaller ensembles. Beside her own projects as a leader she also sings in bands like Lisa Hoppe's Ambush (Jazzwerkstatt Festival 2017), Contemporary Big Band Freiburg, free improvised Orchestra Roberto Domeniconi's Grosser Bär or collaborates with film music composer Joachim Flüeler and works as a studio musician. In 2017 Yumi Ito was invited to tour with the international Generations Unit Band 2017 led by Adrian Mears and toured with the DKSJ Allstar Band featuring Arthur Hnatek.
Yumi Ito also took part in other Festivals such as Cully Jazz Festival (2015&2016), Off Beat Festival Basel (2017), Klang Basel Festival (2016), Mlada Praha Festival in Prague, Festival Jazz à la Cité in Paris, Blue Balls Festival (2015), Musig Am Zürisee, Musibiasca Festival and many more. She has shared the stage with musicians as Michael Kanan, Nils Petter Molvaer, Dominique Girod, Billy Test, Jéan-Paul Brodbeck, Yves Theiler, Yuri Goloubev, Pius Baschnagel, Addison Frei, Sheldon Suter, Rodrigo Botter Maio etc.
Her interests lead from Jazz tradition to classical music and free Improvisation, which she combines in her own compositions and arrangements.
Lisette Spinnler, Al Jarreau, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Yaron Herman, Nils Petter Molvaer, Theo Bleckmann, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Efrat Alony, Chris Wiesendanger, Bob Stoloff, Tony Renold, Omri Ziegele, Jorge Rossy, Joe Sanders, Ziv Ravitz, Larry Grenadier, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidsel Endresen, Becca Stevens, Lage Lund, Gerald Clayton, Jeff Ballard, Gretchen Parlato, Diana Torto, Mark Giuliana, Stefano Battaglia, Tony Renold, Adrian Frey, Marianne Racine, Marion Cowings, Jay Clayton, Lucas Niggli, Billy Heart, Andy Scherrer, William Evans, Michael Beck etc.
by Jonas Alvarez