Ayumi Ishito

Ever since she made New York City her home in 2010, Ayumi Ishito became one of the busiest saxophonists on the scene. Throughout her illustrious career, in addition to performing as a sidewoman and with her own projects on the East Coast, her music has taken her to prestigious venues, concert halls and renown music festivals worldwide. Ayumi Ishito was born and raised in Ishikawa, Japan. At the age of 4, Ayumi began her musical studies on classical piano. At the age of 19, she began playing tenor saxophone in a student big band at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. During her senior year of college, Ayumi became a featured soloist of the big band performing at well-known jazz festivals and contests such as Osaka-jo Jazz Festival (Osaka ’03) and Yamano Big Band Jazz Contest (Tokyo ’03). After graduating from Ritsumeikan University, Ayumi turned her activity back to her hometown, Kanazawa, Ishikawa. In Kanazawa, she formed a jazz quintet and performed at local clubs and festivals. In 2005 and 2006, she was selected as the opening band for a famed annual jazz festival called the “Big Apple in Nonoichi”. There she had a chance to perform with Kenny Washington, Peter Washington, and Benny Green. Besides Kanazawa, Ayumi played at Blue Note Osaka and Kobe Mosaic Jazz Festival with renowned pianist Minoru Ozone in 2005. In 2007, Ayumi received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She spent three years there studying performance and composing. At Berklee, she studied with Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Hal Crook, and Frank Tiberi who among others have been her biggest influences. After graduating from Berklee in 2010, Ayumi moved to New York where she immediately found herself immersed in the jazz scene. She began to place herself in jam sessions at New York’s hot jazz spots, playing with some of the leading jazz musicians including Roy Hargrove, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Johnny O’neal, just to name a few. Shortly afterward, Ayumi joined the Matthew Albeck Group, which expanded her musical interests to many other styles. Albeck’s compositions were based on jazz. However, they were strongly influenced by blues, rock, African music, and funk, which catapulted Ayumi’s performance abilities into another level. This band also hosted a weekly jazz jam session at The Flat in Brooklyn in 2015. Since 2011, Ayumi has also been a member of the Leon Lacey “Freshly Orchestrated” Orchestra led by composer, arranger, and producer Leon Lacey. Since joining the orchestra, she has performed with several multiple Grammy award-winning/nominated gospel artists such as Kelly Price, Myron Butler, and Hezekiah Walker. Ayumi has performed with most of these artists on multiple occasions as the group is always on first call when the services of an orchestra are required. Notably Ayumi participated in a multi-city televised Christmas Spectacular tour with Kim Burrell in December of 2013. On February 6th, 2014 Ayumi performed with the 2014 “Best Gospel Song” Grammy award winner Tye Tribbett at the AME Reid Church in Baltimore, Maryland for a special Black History Month concert in memory of Nelson Mandela. Also in October, she performed for “Verizon’s How Sweet The Sound” event with Leon Lacey and Leon’s Inner Voice at Radio City Music Hall, one of the most renowned venues in the world. In December of 2014, she performed for “Hezekiah Walker 20th Church Anniversary” joined by multiple Grammy award-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams. Ayumi is also a regular member of several other bands including The Jazz Thieves, the Antoine Thouvenin Quintet, The Nova Project, and Platypus Revenge, performing at numerous popular venues in New York City. In 2014, she joined the free-jazz/dome metal band The Eighty-Pound Pug, which has recorded eight live albums. Since then, she began working with several renown musicians and artists in the New York underground music scene such as Damian Richardson, Daniel Carter and Steve Dalachinsky. In February of 2016, Ayumi was selected as the guest performer for “The Charm Concert” with Chinese composer and pianist Don Liu to perform at the world famous Carnegie Hall. Ayumi has been leading her own group since 2011 performing at numerous popular venues in New York City including Rockwood Music Hall, Pete’s Candy Store, Spike Hill, The Shrine, and Muchmore’s, just to name a few. In December of 2016, Ayumi released her debut album “View From A Little Cave”. The album is receiving a lot of attention from home and abroad and has been featured on national and international music blogs including Bandcamp Daily, Rock the Body Electric, Divide and Conquer, Music Explosion (Russia), Axun Arts (Poland), Time Machine Music (Serbia), and Disk Union (Japan). The album has also been featured on multiple radio stations around the world, such as KTRU, WMSE, PBS, and CJRU. On many stations it has been voted to the top of the charts for new releases. Furthermore, a record release tour is tentatively scheduled for the east coat cities and Japan in the summer of 2017. from www.ayumiishito.com

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