Q: Please introduce yourself and how you first got into this field of work –and who were some of your influences growing up?
I am Female jazz pianist Yoonmi Choi from South Korea based on New York City. I started Classical piano when I was 3 years old. but then I wanted to play the piano more freestyle. When I was 24 years old, I listened first time well known American jazz standard “All the things you are”. It was my first time that I cried while listening to music. After that, I decided to learn jazz.
Q: What kind of training have you had, if any?
I received education in classical and jazz piano at Sookmyung Women’s University and Dong-ah Institute of Media and Arts College in Korea.
Then I moved to the Netherlands and took one more bachelor at Prince Claus Conservatoire and graduated with the highest performance score from 4 famous jazz pianists in the Netherlands.
Q: What has been your favourite project to work on so far?
I got the opportunity to be involved as a pianist/music director with Conch Buika who is Latin Grammy Nominated Vocalist. I am touring with her in Europe, America and Africa.
Q: Why did you move to New York?
New York has a lot of opportunities to play with plenty of good musicians. Also, many of my musician friends came here the same reason.
Q: What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
My original composition series “7 Days” got 2014 International Leiden Jazz award in the Netherlands.
I played recently Newport Jazz Festival which is one of the most important jazz festivals in the world. Also, I cannot forget NYC Summerstage this year. Since I’ve been in New York City for 4 years, Summerstage was one of my dreams.
Q: If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?
Oh many, but if I can now, I would like to record with jazz drummer Ari Hoenig. His drumming is extremely delicious and delicate.
Q: What projects do you have coming up?
In 2 weeks, we have a concert at Red sea Jazz festival in Israel with Buika band. It’s my first time to visit Israel I am very exciting.
Probably beginning of September I am going to slowly start to record my jazz album. I already composed a long time ago but I still need to work on arranging for strings. It will be Piano, bass, drums, cello and vocal.
Q:) Who is your inspiration?
I love jazz pianist Kieth Jarret and Brad Mehldau. I love their sound. They know exactly how to handle piano sound. As I’ve studied classical piano first, I can hear piano sound sensitively. Other than that I also can say Wynton Kelly and Herbie Hancock.
Q: What are your favorite venues to perform in?
I love inside the venue. I can fill more audience energy clearly plus band sound as well. I loved to play at Sf jazz centre in San Francisco and Coliseum theatre in Portugal.
Q: Social Profiles:
-Music Director/pianist of Concha Buika
-Music Director/pianist at ‘Truffels jazz murder and mystery” musical show in Time square.
-Jazz ensemble Director in Velcanto State Opera, Inc.
-Pianist of Adel Experience, New York Nightingales, Lady and the vamps and Remo band.
Q: Do you have any advice for young music makers like yourself?
Don’t give up, practice and try to submit all festival, band, agency anything you can.