Yumi Ito and Szymon Mika release the album Ekual
Written by Hevhetia on October 26, 2021
A remarkable duo, consisting of the exceptional singer with Japanese roots Yumi Ito and the Polish talented guitarist Szymon Mika, is currently releasing their joint album Ekual.
This album is an event. Thoughtful and mature in every aspect. The phenomenal „Stardust Crystals“ is one of the best vocal albums of 2020. Ito showcases a whole spectrum of vocal abilities that includes recitation and improvisation with vocals. She plays with voice, timbre, scale. An intriguing and original artist.
A Polish-Japanese duo with Yumi Ito – an extremely talented vocalist, a winner of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival competition. Ito and Mika first met in 2017, and together with an international band created as part of the Focus Year Band project, they performed alongside artists such as Dave Holland, Avishai Cohen and Becca Stevens. Since then, they have continued to collaborate in an intimate two-piece, creating together. Their duo mesmerizes audiences with their original, refined sound, going far beyond the cliché, combining jazz, improvisation and a huge dose of lyricism.
Official date of release is October 28th 2021. You can buy this CD now in our store at https://www.hevhetia.com/product/ekual/. Or digital version on BandCamp at https://hevhetia.bandcamp.com/album/ekual.
Yumi Ito (CH, PL, JP) – 1990
Weaves into her music stories about society – stories that matter, regardless of how large or small, how bright or dark they are. The sound is equally diverse and presents itself as an amalgam of several styles. What might seem tricky, really isn’t: the musician, composer, producer and arranger with Japanese and Polish roots expertly navigates a clear stylistic path, based on hundreds of hours of practice. Like a Zen master she observes, classifies and writes down events from a distance – precise, concentrated and wise. This can be heard on “Stardust Crystals”, the release of her orchestra as well as in her duo with Szymon Mika. Yumi Ito lives and works in Basel, performs regularly all around the world and has shared the stage with artists such as Al Jarreau, Becca Stevens, Nils Petter Molvaer and Mark Turner. Her own art includes jazz, art-pop, electronica, free improvisation and neo-classical music, flexibly performable from solo to orchestra, while – of course – always telling a story.
Szymon Mika (PL) – 1991
Is a dedicated explorer of the vastness of the strings. The Polish guitarist, composer and bandleader combines influences from Polish folklore, experimental music, groove jazz as well as free improvisation in his music. In addition to the electric guitar, he also plays the Argentinean mandolin-like instrument Ronroco and an acoustic soprano guitar developed specifically for him. He can be heard in the Szymon Mika Trio with Max Mucha and Ziv Ravitz, which has released two albums to date, as well as in a duo with the singer Yumi Ito. His talent and musicality have already earned him acclaims from Peter Bernstein, Lage Lund, Mike Stern or John Abercrombie. Szymon Mika has performed with Polish jazz masters such as Adam Baldych, Joachim Mencel and Aga Zaryan, as well as international names such as Avishai Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dave Holland, Mark Turner and Joshua Redman. His musical presence always involves a string instrument and a virtuosity second to none.
- recording studio: Cavatina Studios, Bielsko Biala
- soundengineer: Maciej Stach
- producer: Yumi Ito, Szymon Mika
- editing: Szymon Mika
- mixing, editing: Mateusz Sołtysik
- mastering: Magdalena Piotrowska
- graphic design: Maria Jarzyna
- photos: Kasia Kukielka
- album artwork: Maria Jarzyna
- recording studio videos: Maria Jarzyna
- label: Hevhetia Records, www.hevhetia.com
- distribution: Unit Records www.unitrecords.com
- text: Stoph Ruckli
- minha flor & data beta animated music videos: Jagna Firek
- float and drift music video: Angèle Siegenthaler
- album teaser video: Maria Jarzyna
- CD print: TAKT
- vinyl production: NEO Membran Service Ltd Membran Media