Miya Miyanoue

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b. Yoshiaki Miyanoue, 7 October 1953, Tokyo, Japan. Miyanoue took up the guitar at the age of 10 and five years later began showing an interest in jazz. At this time he played in a high school band but…
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Artist Biography by

b. Yoshiaki Miyanoue, 7 October 1953, Tokyo, Japan. Miyanoue took up the guitar at the age of 10 and five years later began showing an interest in jazz. At this time he played in a high school band but soon after graduation he teamed up with organist Joe Davis and drummer Jerry Eddy to form the band, New Groove, playing for three years at a club on a US military base. Simultaneously, he led his own quartet, performing at Tokyo clubs. In 1977, he travelled to New York to study jazz, and after his return he recorded his first album. This self-produced recording was brought to the attention of King Records who signed Miyanoue in 1978.

Over the next decade his reputation spread and in 1988 he appeared at a jazz festival held in India, and also toured China. As a member of the Eiji Kitamura Quintet he appeared at the 1991 Monterey Jazz Festival, and the following year he performed at both the Queensland Jazz Festival in Australia and the Los Angeles International Jazz Party. At the latter he played with many leading Japanese and American artists including Kitamura and the IJP’s co-organizer, Bill Berry. While acknowledging the influence of Wes Montgomery, Miyanoue’s playing style, in which he uses his thumb to strum the guitar rather than using picks, helps him create a distinctive sound. His instrument of choice is a Miyanoue Original Model, hand built by three craftsman. A stylish player with an eclectic repertoire, his reputation is gradually spreading internationally. In the late 90s, in addition to performing, Miyanoue was operating his own jazz club in Tokyo, the Kiri-Kiri Brown.