The most recent initiative of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation, the Montreux Jazz Academy has brought together the winners of the solo piano, guitar, and voice competitions each autumn in Montreux since 2014. They spend a week in residence in company with the presidents of the competition juries and such prestigious mentors as Lee Ritenour, Charles Lloyd, Al Jarreau, and Patti Austin. This special event will bring back two of the mentors from the 2015 edition, Yaron Herman and Ziv Ravitz, to accompany three incredible winners of the 2015 competitions: Pedro Martins, Vuyo Sotashe, and Yumi Ito.
From Basel, Yumi Ito is a 25-year-old pianist from a family of Japanese-Polish musicians. After giving her first concert in Zurich at eight, she studied classical singing and recorded her first album at 24. Since then, this artistic prodigy has toured with a Big Band in Japan and collaborated with pianist Yves Theiler, with whom she has notably offered up the unusual concept of a concert in total darkness, for a unique sensorial experience. On stage with these five exceptional artists, American drummer Joe Martin will complete this superb tableau, which promises outstanding musical moments.