Mika (Yoshida) Stoltzman, called "High-wire jazz marimbist... an amazing, energetic performer ready for major exposure." (LA Times) was born in Amakusa Island, Kumamoto, Japan, and now resides in New York City and Boston. Since studying at the University of Toronto, Mika has devoted herself to marimba performance and musical studies under the strong influence of the NEXUS. She is also studying Jazz privately with jazz vibe master, Mike Mainieri, in New York, while Steve Gadd has been her producer.
Mika released her first album, Mitsue, in 1998, followed up by her second release, Marimba Phase, in 2003 under Monroe Street. In 2010 Mika also released a live DVD, MARIMBA MADNESS (Big Round Records). Mikarimba (Video Art Music, Japan 2010) was produced by drummer Steve Gadd and features bassist Eddie Gomez. Mika has performed at Carnegie Hall's Zankel & Weill Halls, Tokyo (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), PASIC (2005, 2007), in addition to touring in cities around the world.
She premiered John Wyre's Moonlight for marimba and orchestra with the Kyushu Symphony, and Bill Douglas's marimba concerto with the Kumamoto Symphony Orchestra. She was also guest soloist in the Kracow Philharmonic in Poland, and Szombathely Symphony Orchestra in Hungary. Her arrangement and performance of "Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint" appears on Steve Reich's album Triple Quartet (Nonesuch). She has also appeared on Richard Stoltzman's album Goldberg Variations (BMG Japan) and Jo Hisaishi's Asian X.T.C. (Universal Japan).
In August, 2011, Mika celebrated sold-out recitals at Blue Note Jazz clubs throughout Japan with her group, MIKARIMBA, featuring Mika on marimba, the legendary Steve Gadd, and Eddie Gomez.
In 2012, Mika celebrated a sold-out recital at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in NYC. Mika performed 8 world premiere pieces with Richard Stoltzman.
On May 30th, 2013, Mika celebrated another sold-out recital at Carnegie Weill Hall performing World Premiere works by John Zorn, Bill Douglas, Steve Reich, William Thomas McKinley, and Chick Corea with Richard Stoltzman, Gayle Moran Corea, Harlem String Quartet, David Finck (bass), Bill Cahn (per), Bill Pihl (piano), and Duke Gadd (Drums), with a special guest appearance by Chick Corea.
In 2013, Mika's guest performance of Chick Corea's Piano Concerto No. 1 on Marimba (World Premiere) with Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Mexico conducted by Lanfranco Marchlletti on Sep 1st was a great success.
In December 2013, Mika released her second album with MIKARIMBA produced by Steve Gadd, If You Believe, with Richard Stoltzman, Steve Gadd, Eddie Gomez, John Tropea (guitar), Duke Gadd, and the Harlem String Quartet. Mika, Steve Gadd, and John Tropea completed a successful 5-city Japan Release Tour the same month.
"Mika Stoltzman makes the marimba sound so natural within jazz." (JazzTimes, 2014)
"Mika Stoltzman is beyond category, to use Duke Ellington's signature compliment, and she proves it here" (All About Jazz, 2013)