Chihiro Yamanaka

b. Kiryu, Japan. Yamanaka was a pianist since the age of 4. She studied classical music and won the grand prize in Japan’s Gumma Fresh Talent Competition. She graduated from the Berklee College Of Music in the USA in 2000. Critically acclaimed, she won DownBeat magazine‚Äôs Outstanding Performance award and the IAJE Sisters In Jazz competition. She then toured Europe alongside other winners. She has performed with many artists, including George Benson and Gary Burton, Curtis Fuller (George Russell), Terri Lyne Carrington and Ed Thigpen. She was part of DIVA, an all-female band that Sherrie Maricle led in the early 2000s. She has recorded and performed with the group. Yamanaka was also a member of Five Play, a DIVA spin-off group. This group played on Marlene verPlanck’s 2003 album, It’s How You Play The Game. Yamanaka has recorded with Ray Parker, Ben Street, and Larry Grenadier as well as drummers Rodney Green, Jeff Ballard, and Ben Perowsky. Allmusic

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