Rema Hasumi (born in Fukuoka, Japan) is a pianist/vocalist who is based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Rema has performed at venues across NY, the United States and Asia. In 2009 she performed at the Kennedy Center as one of the four finalists of Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Pianist Competition.
More recently, upon invitation by acclaimed vocalist Jen Shyu, Rema presented her solo work "The Patterns of Duplicity" at a series of "Solo Rites" concerts by Ms. Shyu. The piece featured the poetry "Spring and Asura" (1925) by Kenji Miyazawa interpreted in multiple languages, exploring the possibilities of musical ideas unique and inherent to each language.
Rema has also worked extensively as both pianist and vocalist in many other projects, including a series of collaborations with the saxophonist Darius Jones in which they performed the music of Alice Coltrane. She has also worked as the vocalist in the guitarist Todd Neufeld's new two-drummer group. Rema's new trio premiered in June 2015 in two nights of concerts in NYC. It featured compositions she wrote for piano/voice, performed alongside the great Randy Peterson and Masa Kamaguchi.
Her first record "UTAZATA" was released on May 3rd, 2015, from Ruweh Records. It features the highly sympathetic cast of Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass), Billy Mintz (drums), and fiery guest musicians Ben Gerstein (trombone) and Sergio Krakowski (pandeiro). The group interprets the themes of Japanese Gagaku and ritual music. This record was made as a result of mindful searching on femininity, mythology and rituals in Japanese performing arts.
In 2017, Rema has released her second leader album, which featured compositions she's written for her trio with bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Randy Peterson. These compositions were written based on the idea of creating more intimacy and accessibility by adding voice to the canvas of free jazz piano trio setting. The album was recorded in 2016 after a year of performing together as a trio.
Born as the second of two daughters of linguist parents who are music fans and an audiophile, Rema was exposed to music of various genres throughout her childhood. Among them, what appealed to her the most at the time was Wynton Kelly's record "Wynton Kelly!" (1961), which introduced her to the sound of jazz. Rema began her piano study at the age of 7 and continued the classical training for the next 11 years. However, she was diagnosed with epilepsy in her early teenage, which caused her to temporarily lose consciousness while playing the piano. This made her think that playing classical compositions by heart was not something she would continue doing. Finding out that there are music that can be thoroughly improvised was a complete thrill to her. Rema became more and more interested in jazz and improvised music throughout her teenage years, and finally she moved to the United States soon after graduating from high school to pursue further study of music.
Rema received Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Performance from the
City College of New York in 2007. During this time her focus of listening was hard-bop music. Who she especially enjoyed listening were Sonny Clark, Bobby Timmons and Ahmad Jamal. She
also was very fortunate to be able to study with legendary pianists such as John Hicks and George Cables. The first on the list of her countless musical influences would be Mary Lou Williams,
Paul Bley, Annette Peacock, Alice Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Masabumi Kikuchi, Amina Claudine Myers, Albert Ayler, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sun Ra, La Monte Young, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Emily