Aya Sekine

Credit: Willie Lyou

With an impressive, cross-continental career spanning three decades in a plethora of roles, Japanese jazz pianist-composer-bandleader Aya Sekine has justly earned a reputation as one of Asia’s most illustrious jazz exponents. Feted for her distinctively expressive style which is hard-swinging, dynamic and constantly diverse, she’s firmly established herself as a fervent advocate of the art-form in this region. While strongly influenced by bebop, straight-ahead and modern jazz traditions, she has ventured into the experimental side of things which has seen her burst out of traditional structures and into free jazz and freestyle improv as well as fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations. Her affinity for punk rock, hiphop, funk-soul, Brazilian music and the underground scene of Japan and New York City in the 1990s has also fed into the the DNA of her style.

Releases

LIFE, EVERYDAY! AYA SEKINE SOLO PIANO MUSIC

Year of Release: 2020
Capturing an array of feelings from anxiety to joy as she comes out of the darkness, Life, Everyday! showcases Aya Sekine’s solo piano vision in full spectrum. This folio of emotionally driven improvisations, original compositions and arrangements of standards were recorded between 2013 and 2018, and is a sequel to her 2003 solo piano improvisation albums Inside, Out!.

NO ONE KNOWS YOU WERE HERE

Year of Release: 2020
Recorded in the midst of the pandemic, these tracks express a sense of longing in the intersections of nature, city and the mind. Based on the Chinese characters ‘a thousand horses’, the band’s name, Qianpima, is an apt description for the sonic and emotional rumble of oncoming horses to represent the surprise element of improvisation. Inspired by hypnotic rhythms and drone sounds, the quartet, comprising anGie seah, Aya Sekine, Ian Woo and Wu Juhan, often invokes filmic worlds with fictional environments and characters.

TWO’S COMPANY – JAZZ DUETS BY JASSO & FRIENDS

Year of Release: 2020
Aya Sekine joins an illustrious bunch of established jazz musicians, such as Louis Soliano, Jeremy Monteiro and Alemay Fernandez, in this lovely debut release by the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra (JASSO, for short), a group made up of professionals as well as a few outstanding members from its youth orchestra.

ARRANGEMENT HAIRSTYLE

Year of Release: 2020
Aya Sekine lends her agile piano prowess to this breezy, jazzy-funky single release by Jun Matsue, the iconic Japanese musician, frontman of the cult experimental post-punk band Spoozys.

J’S WONDERFUL WORLD

Year of Release: 2020
Another worldly, synth-happy doozie from Jun Matsue, with Aya Sekine accentuating the rhythm section with her effervescent keys.

LISTEN AND BELIEVE

Year of Release: 2015
Aya Sekine is part of this cross-cultural, hybrid-happy group called Listen and Believe (or L.A.B., for short). Together with Michaela Therese (vocals), Tim De Cotta(bass/vocals) and Teo Jia Rong (drums), the soul, hi-hop and jazz quartet is borne out of a passion for limitless experimentation across genres, as can be heard in tracks such as ‘Care Enough’ and ‘17 Degrees’.

INSIDE OUT! AYA SEKINE SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATIONS

Year of Release: 2003
The spotlight is on Aya Sekine and her piano. All the qualities that everybody loves about her are in glorious display here – the dedication to push music to its farthest realms, the passion, and the supreme discipline.

AYASCHOOL ON SOUNDCLOUD

Year of Release: 2017
Diversity is thy name, Aya Sekine. Here on SoundCloud, she ranges from be-bop to hardcore punk, Brazilian music to risky & experimental improvisations, from the American songbook to Japanese anime theme songs. Comfortable being uncomfortable in order to challenge the new sound.

NAUGHTY “NOOR” NICE

Year of Release: 2015
Inspired by the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, Tom Waits, and Singapore’s very own Kopi Kat Klan and Budak Pantai, NNN’s music is the illegitimate lovechild between jazz and toilet humour, featuring Joanna Dong, pianist Aya Sekine and Mohammed Noor on percussions. A rebellion against the endless drone of insipid commercial Christmas music, this is “inauthentic but organic, silly but serious, naughty but nice.”

MY NAME IS MEEKELAH

Year of Release: 2014
Aya Sekine shows why she’s in high demand, providing agile piano accompaniment in this full-length debut by Michaela Therese, a Singaporean jazz chanteuse and her bandmate in L.A.B.

Go Getter

Year of Release: 2005
Jun Matsue’s in fine form blazing through punk, funk and rock as Aya Sekine sets the keys on fire.

Small Talk

Year of Release: 2004
Marina Xavier’s sultry vocals will lure you in, especially when accentuated by Aya Sekine’s nimble ivories which play footsie and what-have-you.

TRIUMPH OF GUITAR MURDERER

Year of Release: 2003
Well named indeed. Jun Matsue’s shredding riffs can kill, ably matched by Aya Sekine’s sprightly keyboards that will take you out.

Aya Sekine

Credit: Willie Lyou

With an impressive, cross-continental career spanning three decades in a plethora of roles, Japanese jazz pianist-composer-bandleader Aya Sekine has justly earned a reputation as one of Asia’s most illustrious jazz exponents. Feted for her distinctively expressive style which is hard-swinging, dynamic and constantly diverse, she’s firmly established herself as a fervent advocate of the art-form in this region. While strongly influenced by bebop, straight-ahead and modern jazz traditions, she has ventured into the experimental side of things which has seen her burst out of traditional structures and into free jazz and freestyle improv as well as fostering inter-disciplinary collaborations. Her affinity for punk rock, hiphop, funk-soul, Brazilian music and the underground scene of Japan and New York City in the 1990s has also fed into the the DNA of her style.

Releases

LIFE, EVERYDAY! AYA SEKINE SOLO PIANO MUSIC

Year of Release: 2020
Capturing an array of feelings from anxiety to joy as she comes out of the darkness, Life, Everyday! showcases Aya Sekine’s solo piano vision in full spectrum. This folio of emotionally driven improvisations, original compositions and arrangements of standards were recorded between 2013 and 2018, and is a sequel to her 2003 solo piano improvisation albums Inside, Out!.

NO ONE KNOWS YOU WERE HERE

Year of Release: 2020
Recorded in the midst of the pandemic, these tracks express a sense of longing in the intersections of nature, city and the mind. Based on the Chinese characters ‘a thousand horses’, the band’s name, Qianpima, is an apt description for the sonic and emotional rumble of oncoming horses to represent the surprise element of improvisation. Inspired by hypnotic rhythms and drone sounds, the quartet, comprising anGie seah, Aya Sekine, Ian Woo and Wu Juhan, often invokes filmic worlds with fictional environments and characters.

TWO’S COMPANY – JAZZ DUETS BY JASSO & FRIENDS

Year of Release: 2020
Aya Sekine joins an illustrious bunch of established jazz musicians, such as Louis Soliano, Jeremy Monteiro and Alemay Fernandez, in this lovely debut release by the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra (JASSO, for short), a group made up of professionals as well as a few outstanding members from its youth orchestra.

ARRANGEMENT HAIRSTYLE

Year of Release: 2020
Aya Sekine lends her agile piano prowess to this breezy, jazzy-funky single release by Jun Matsue, the iconic Japanese musician, frontman of the cult experimental post-punk band Spoozys.

J’S WONDERFUL WORLD

Year of Release: 2020
Another worldly, synth-happy doozie from Jun Matsue, with Aya Sekine accentuating the rhythm section with her effervescent keys.

LISTEN AND BELIEVE

Year of Release: 2015
Aya Sekine is part of this cross-cultural, hybrid-happy group called Listen and Believe (or L.A.B., for short). Together with Michaela Therese (vocals), Tim De Cotta(bass/vocals) and Teo Jia Rong (drums), the soul, hi-hop and jazz quartet is borne out of a passion for limitless experimentation across genres, as can be heard in tracks such as ‘Care Enough’ and ‘17 Degrees’.

INSIDE OUT! AYA SEKINE SOLO PIANO IMPROVISATIONS

Year of Release: 2003
The spotlight is on Aya Sekine and her piano. All the qualities that everybody loves about her are in glorious display here – the dedication to push music to its farthest realms, the passion, and the supreme discipline.

AYASCHOOL ON SOUNDCLOUD

Year of Release: 2017
Diversity is thy name, Aya Sekine. Here on SoundCloud, she ranges from be-bop to hardcore punk, Brazilian music to risky & experimental improvisations, from the American songbook to Japanese anime theme songs. Comfortable being uncomfortable in order to challenge the new sound.

NAUGHTY “NOOR” NICE

Year of Release: 2015
Inspired by the likes of Weird Al Yankovic, Tom Waits, and Singapore’s very own Kopi Kat Klan and Budak Pantai, NNN’s music is the illegitimate lovechild between jazz and toilet humour, featuring Joanna Dong, pianist Aya Sekine and Mohammed Noor on percussions. A rebellion against the endless drone of insipid commercial Christmas music, this is “inauthentic but organic, silly but serious, naughty but nice.”

MY NAME IS MEEKELAH

Year of Release: 2014
Aya Sekine shows why she’s in high demand, providing agile piano accompaniment in this full-length debut by Michaela Therese, a Singaporean jazz chanteuse and her bandmate in L.A.B.

Go Getter

Year of Release: 2005
Jun Matsue’s in fine form blazing through punk, funk and rock as Aya Sekine sets the keys on fire.

Small Talk

Year of Release: 2004
Marina Xavier’s sultry vocals will lure you in, especially when accentuated by Aya Sekine’s nimble ivories which play footsie and what-have-you.

TRIUMPH OF GUITAR MURDERER

Year of Release: 2003
Well named indeed. Jun Matsue’s shredding riffs can kill, ably matched by Aya Sekine’s sprightly keyboards that will take you out.

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