Yutaka Shiina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yutaka Shiina
Birth nameYutaka Shiina (椎名 豊, Shiina Yutaka)
Born (1964-09-23) 23 September 1964 (age 59)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation(s)Musician, composer

Yutaka Shiina (椎名 豊, Shiina Yutaka, born 23 September 1964) is a Japanese jazz pianist and composer.

Early life[edit]

Shiina was born in Tokyo on 23 September 1964.[1] He had piano lessons from the age of three.[1] From 1982 he studied composition at the Kunitachi College of Music; while still a student, he became a professional jazz pianist.[1]

Later life and career[edit]

Shiina joined the bands of Lionel Hampton and Vincent Herring for their 1989 tours of Japan.[1] In the following year he became part of Roy Hargrove's quartet.[1] Shiina was a founding member of the Jazz Networks, and led this band from 1992.[1] He formed his own trio in 1994, initially with bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Masahiko Osaka.[1] This band recorded, as did later versions that contained Veal and Herlin Riley, then Christian McBride and Clarence Penn.[1]

In 1996 the pianist toured Japan with trumpeter Duško Gojković and Europe with drummer Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine.[1] In 2007 Shiina co-led a tour of the UK with trumpeter Damon Brown.[2] The two played together in the UK again, under the leadership of Brown and saxophonist Steve Grossman, in 2012.[3]

Playing style[edit]

John Fordham of The Guardian compared Shiina with pianist Wynton Kelly and commented that Shiina "keeps his virtuosity throttled back and maintains a hip expressiveness by letting insinuations, nuances and implied swing, and the subtle tick of the rhythm section do much of the work."[2]


An asterisk (*) after the year indicates that it is the year of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1993 Movin' Forces BMG Trio, with Reginald Veal (bass), Masahiko Osaka (drums)
1995* Hittin' the Spirit BMG Trio, with bass, drums
1996* At the Moment BMG
1998 United BMG Trio, with Christian McBride (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
2000* Happy to Swing BMG
2009* Walkin' in the Clouds Space Shower Music
2015 Future Swing Scene-a Music

As sideman[edit]

Year recorded Leader Title Label
1991 The Jazz Networks Straight to Standards BMG
1992 The Jazz Networks Beauty and the Beast BMG
Tomonao Hara For Musicians Only, Vol. 1[4] King


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sugiyama, Kazunori "Shiina, Yutaka". The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 May 2015. (Subscription required).
  2. ^ a b Fordham, John (6 December 2007) "Yutaka Shiina/Damon Brown". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Live Music". (25 February 2012) The Financial Times. Life and Arts, p. 15.
  4. ^ Minor 2004, p. 94.
  • Minor, William (2004). Jazz Journeys to Japan: The Heart Within. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11345-3.