• Oct 29 2016 | 8:30 pm

    21st Annual Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival

    "The New Generation"





21st Anniversary Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival


Asian Improv aRts Midwest, the region’s leading Asian American cultural arts organization, is proud to present the 21st Anniversary performances of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival.  The critically acclaimed annual event is an essential cornerstone for highlighting and documenting the significant role that Asian Americans and their collaborators have in contributing to the city’s historic and vibrant musical landscape.  The 21st Anniversary CAAJF will be held on October 29 at the Elastic Arts, &November 5 at the Constellation.



8:30pm Phuong Pham Trio ( w/special guest, Ms. Yesoe Yoon)

Phuong Pham, originally studied music at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music in Vietnam and received a Bachelor of Music, Piano Performance.  An active jazz pianist and accompanist since 2001, he received a DePaul music scholarship that same year and came to Chicago to study jazz under Larry Novak and classical under Eteri Andjazparidze. In 2003, he received his Master of Music, Jazz Studies. Pham has been a regular accompanist for the School of Ballet Chicago (2003 ~ 2010), the St. Alphonsus Liguori Church (2007~2014), the Hyde Park School of Dance (Nov. 2014 ~ present) and the St. Joseph Parish in Addison, IL (Nov. 2014 ~ present). He was also the pianist for the Victoria Garden Musical Theatre in 2002 and vocal accompanist at Northwestern University in 2011. He played jazz in small ensembles with many groups at venues such as the Bebop Café, Wolfgang Puck, and Pete Miller’s Steak House. Professionally, he is well known for his combination of classical training with jazz and contemporary music, and his sight-reading and adaptation of styles are well polished. Pham has his piano studio in Addison, IL.

Yesoe Yoon, born in South Korea, came to the United States twelve years ago, and she has been a journalist and television personality in Asian-American media, and is a sought after classical soloist for business, government (Illinois Secretary of State, State Treasurer, etc.), community, fashion shows, and world organizations’ events.

9:30pm Mai Sugimoto Quartet featuring Quentin Coaxum (trumpet), Jeremy Cunningham (drums), and Katie Ernst (bass). 

Mai Sugimoto is a Japanese born saxophonist and composer living in Chicago, IL. As a child growing up in suburban Tokyo, she still remembers the moment that changed everything: hearing Eric Dolphy’s At the Five Spot for the first time from her father’s music collection.

Fast forward to the present and Sugimoto is playing her own saxophone, striving for the same musical magic that moved her to be a musician in the first place. She performs frequently throughout the Chicago-land area and is a member of Hanami, a quartet that features her original work and arrangements of Japanese music. Sugimoto credits her experience performing with Chicago bassist Tatsu Aoki and his MIYUMI Project as the impetus to rediscover her Japanese roots.  Sugimoto draws additional inspiration from Lennie Tristano and his improvisational approach, 90’s and early 00’s J-pop, the Beatles, Glenn Gould, and the unique compositions of her Hanami band mate, guitarist Andrew Trim, and uses this when writing for her new group.  Sugimoto holds a BM and MM in music performance from Northern Illinois University and University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, respectively. She is currently a member of the music faculty at Moraine Valley Community College and thoroughly enjoys teaching in addition to pursuing her performing career.

Mai Sugimoto’s photo by Cara Donley