Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika | © Katarzyna Kukielka Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika | © Katarzyna Kukielka
© Katarzyna Kukielka
Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika

Yumi Ito & Szymon Mika

Yumi Ito: vocals | Szymon Mika: guitar | The guitar and song duo are a classic combination in all genres although in jazz – where the guitar was used as a traditional jazz instrument only later – less so. With female singing this can slightly overlap and so variability, imagination and mutual understanding are important. It is therefore fitting that Swiss singer Yumi Ito sings as variably as only very few and the Polish guitarist has a whole range of expression possibilities with his instrument. The duo’s 2021 album “Ekual” – which will also be performed at Jazz & The City – highlights just how perfectly the pair complement one another.

Artist biography Yumi Ito

Birds are her favourite animals and while others work with nightingales or larks songs, Swiss singer Yumi Ito works with an entire aviary. As the daughter of a Japanese pianist and Polish mezzo-soprano, she has music in her blood (she already performed as a pianist aged only 13 and, meanwhile, also works as actress). After studies in Zurich, New York and Basel, she developed her own style as a singer whose vocalises tumble over one another with minimalist, scat-style passages which have never been heard like this. Her unique style was rewarded with the Montreux Jazz Vocal Competition in 2015. She is also a composer who uses folksy-pop basic motifs in an improvisational way with jazz which can be heard on four albums.  


Artist biography Szymon Mika

Parallel to his studies at the Katowice Music Academy, Polish guitarist Szymon Mika formed a trio with bassist Max Mucha and internationally in-demand Israeli-American drummer Ziv Ravitz. The debut albums “Unseen” and “Togetherness” as well as performances at the big festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival highlighted him as a great future star from 2016 onwards. After his move to Basel in 2017, Mika soon joined the Focusyear Band with singer Yumi Ito with whom he later deepened the collaboration. The young jazz musician’s current standing in the jazz scene is reflected in his performances with Avishai Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dave Holland, Mark Turner and Joshua Redman.