A Little More About Aya

Aya is many things.

She is a jazz pianist, improvisor, composer, bandleader, teacher, entrepreneur  - but somehow it all fits into 'AYA'. 

Originally born in Osaka Japan into arts & culture loving family, raised in both Japan and Singapore, Aya started playing classical piano so young. She has joined the brass band at 10 until 18 as a percussionist (mean snare drummer she was), then finally trained in Jazz piano and improvisation at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, she spent the better part of a decade in New York City as a performing musician. Since leaving the City in 2002, she has been based in Singapore and actively performing in the region. 

Musically Aya is known to be a soulful and hard-swinging jazz pianist, having performed with many world-class musicians in NYC, South East Asia and Japan. She has been mentored by great jazz pianists such as Yuki Arimasa, Aaron Goldberg and last but not least, Sophia Rosoff who Aya claims that her one lesson changed her technical skill completely. While strongly influenced by Bebop and straight ahead, her constant quests bursting out of structural improvisations or public perception of jazz have aligned her with countless multi-disciplinary collaborations with artists of diverse backgrounds to create ‘new chemistry’, never letting go her deep jazz background.  Besides her passion for jazz, her infatuations for punk rock, funk & soul, Brazilian music and underground scene of Japan and NYC have led to the formulation of her truly innovative style. Her expressions are unique and quirky yet somehow elegant - which makes her performances strongly engaging and unforgettable. She has been invited to many international music festivals over the years such as Singapore International Jazz Festival (2016), Neon Lights (2018), Singapore International Festival of Arts (2018), Thailand International Jazz Conference (2019, scheduled to appear 2020). In addition to performing she has written, arranged and directed music for large programs; William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (LASALLE College of The Arts, Singapore 2015), School Is Out! Discover Jazz (Esplanade, Singapore 2019) 


Apart from performing prolifically worldwide including her home country Japan for the past two decades, she has also been integral to the scene as an educator and a strong advocate for jazz and the community. She has been an adjunct lecturer of LASALLE College of The Arts (Singapore) since 2008, having mentored many students through principle studies, ensembles and music entrepreneurship courses. Apart from music skills, she shares her knowledge and philosophy of life that is survival as a female non mainstream artist/practitioner living overseas. Outside of school, she facilitates her signature participatory improvisation workshops 'Jungle Jam', jazz listening appreciations and often found as one of the judging and discussion panels in the field of music, arts and the community.  


Aya has an impressive side as an entrepreneur with significant experiences in arts management & leadership. She has incorporated Bon Goût Music in 2012, a multi faceted company offering music event/international tour programming and consultations both for independent artists and corporate clients. In 2016 she has founded a non-profit We Love Jazz (Singapore) Limited, aiming to strengthen the foundation of jazz and related music community of Singapore through grassroots outreach, education and resource support as well as interactive community events. Early 2019, Aya was invited to Melbourne as a guest-panelist/presenter, representing Singapore at this year’s International Jazz Day (‘IJD’) Global Host Celebration. Sekine received honorable mention for her leadership skills, research and grassroots effort under WLJ SG and its local annual International Jazz Day celebration commemorating global movement.