Miki Hayama


Jazz Institute

Miki Hayama born in Kyoto, Japan is a Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, arranger, and musical director, who lives in NYC.

She graduated from Osaka College of Music with a major in classical piano, and studied jazz piano with renowned jazz pianist Sadayasu Fujii in Kyoto. 

She was the first winner of The Yokohama Jazz Competition in 1996. After graduating from College, she worked in many Jazz clubs in the Kansai area.
Her ambition to pursue Jazz didn't stop her but made her move to New York, and since 2003, Ms. Hayama has been busy making quite a respected name for herself on New
York's jazz scene.

She has performed and shared the stage with many greats from Kenny Garrett, Ralph Peterson, Sean Jones, Tia Fuller, Michael Dease, Vincent Herring, Bruce Williams, Roy
Hargrove, JD Allen, Greg Osby, Mark Shim, Don Braden, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Nnenna Freelon, Jazzmeia Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Eric Harland, Gary Thomas, and even the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, to name a few.

Her own 2006 sophomore release “Prelude to a Kiss” received a five-star rating in Swing Journal. Her 3rd studio album “Wide Angle” got Swing Journal's Gold Disc Award in March 2009 and, Best Production Award in January 2010. She has appeared on more than 50 recordings as a side person including Tia Fuller's “Pillar of Strength” and “Healing Space”, Sharel Cassity's “Evolve”, Mimi Jones's “A New Day” and “Balance”, Michael Dease Big Band's “Relentless”, Nnenna Freelon's “Christmas” and Don Braden “ Earth Wind and Wonder Volume two” to name a few.

Recently, her work as a musical director as well as an arranger and keyboardist on Nnenna Freelon's long-awaited studio album “ Time Traveler “ which was nominated for Grammy’s Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2022 and Don Braden (tenor saxophone virtuoso) 2023’s release “ Earth Wind and Wonder” grabbed Jazz Charts #1 for weeks.

Ms Hayama has traveled the world where she performed, taught at jazz camps, and did master classes in Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, France, Italy, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Greece, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Croatia, Czech Rep, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, China, Canada, and all across the US.

First Prize at the Yokohama Jazz Competition, Senzoku Gakuen Award; Mary Lou Williams Women Jazz Piano Competition Finalist; Swing Journal Jazz Disc Award;
Swing Journal Best Production Award; The Extraordinary Woman Award in 2021 By Cathedral United Baptist Church; Grammy Nominated for her role as musical director, arranger, and musician in 2022.

Ms Hayama has drawn high praise from the New York Times, and interview and frequent airplay from WBGO, and enthusiastic support from some of jazz's master musicians.    

“Miki Hayama is an amazing young pianist with great chops, a great harmonic concept and a great imagination! “ - Kenny Barron, piano master

"This lady, born in Kyoto, Japan, swings as if she's Harlem grown. Colorful and creative, her style is both aggressive and sensitive." - Dr. Victor Lewis, drumming legend