Yuko Mabuchi receives a congratulatory citation from L.A. City Deputy Commissioner Albert Lord, at the Catalina Jazz Club on Oct. 23. At right is SAPPA founder and pioneering keyboardist Billy Mitchell. (Courtesy SAPPA)
Jazz pianist Yuko Mabuchi received recognition from the City of Los Angeles on Oct. 23 for her work as a recording artist, contributing to the legacy of jazz, and as a mentor to at-risk youngsters in the inner city.
The award was presented by L.A. City Deputy Commissioner Albert Lord during the annual celebration to thank supporters of the Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy.
The event was held at Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz Club, with Mabuchi performing with The Watts-Willowbrook Strings, a group from the Watts-Willowbrook Youth Symphony, where she has volunteered as accompanist for the last five years. She then played with internationally acclaimed violinist Karen Briggs, and closed with her trio, to a standing ovation.
Mabuchi has established a reputation as a virtuoso pianist who is also entertaining and exciting to watch. The Yuko Mabuchi Trio will perform at the San Francisco Jazz Center on Nov. 22, and Vibrato Jazz Club in Los Angeles on Jan. 7.
Her latest recording, “Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis,” is currently receiving worldwide airplay.
Founded in 2002 by smooth jazz-pioneering keyboardinst Billy Mitchell, SAPPA was created to provide training for youngsters interested in competing for music and arts scholarships. SAPPA soon grew into a music workshop program, reintroducing basic musical skills into communities with little or no music education opportunities.
The program focuses on areas with high percentages of at-risk youngsters who are often not able to afford formal music training, thus being denied the proper introduction into the world of art and music and its many benefits.