Hailing from Japan, composer, producer, pianist, and bandleader of the 17-piece Miggy Augmented Orchestra, Migiwa “Miggy” Miyajima creates large-scale works manifesting her distinct life experiences. Birdland Jazz Club says, “Miyajima’s music reflects her journey as a musician and humanitarian.” Formerly editor-in-chief of a magazine in Japan, Miyajima trusted the power of music and became a full-time musician at the age of 30. In four years, the Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra found her and brought her two Grammy nominations as its associate producer for “Forever Lasting- Live in Tokyo” and “Over Time: Music of Bob Brookmeyer.”
After surviving the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Miyajima received a Japanese government grant and a Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Fellowship, and relocated to the US. Miggy Augmented Orchestra released its ArtistShare debut album “Colorful” in 2018. In March 2021, Miyajima released a book with accompanied music entitled “Your Future Story” as a first product of her year-long “Unbreakable Hope and Resilience” project, based on the real stories of survivors and volunteers of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. She has also served as associate producer and conductor of NEA jazz master Slide Hampton’s big band. She is the recipient of grants and awards including the 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, 2020 NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, and 2021 Creative Engagement program of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
Integrating musical elements from Japan with the harmonies and rhythms of modern jazz, Miyajima creates original compositions that evoke natural beauty and convey a deep appreciation of our shared humanity. She is experienced in large jazz ensembles and skilled at combining numerous sounds and creates striking and sophisticated effects. Showcasing the boundless gifts of her featured musicians by her signature "ensemble music," she seeks to highlight the unique “colors” that all human beings contribute to society.
2021 Recipient, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), Creative Engagement grant
2021 Finalist, John Lennon Song Writing Contest - Jazz category
2020 Recipient, New York City’s NYC Women’s Fund For Media, Music, and Theatre grant
2019 Awardee, Jerome Foundation’s Jerome Hill Artist
2019 Three performances of Migiwa’s have been selected for The Japan Foundation’s Japan 2019 program
2018 Winner, The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) 2018 Search for New Music Competition PDX Prize
2018 Finalist, International Song Writing Contest
2016 Awardee, Brooklyn Arts Council (as co-founder, producer and composer, NY Japanese Women Jazz Composers)
2015 Finalist, BMI’s Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize
2014 Grammy Nomination, 57th Grammy Award as associate producer of Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s “OverTime—Music of Bob Brookmeyer”
2012–2013 Awardee US-Japan Creative Artists Program“Japan-US Friendship Commission”
2012-2013 National Scholarship, Program of Overseas Study for Upcoming Artists, Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs“Japanese Government Overseas Program for Artists”
2011 Grammy nomination as associate producer of Vanguard Jazz Orchestra’s “Forever Lasting - Live in Tokyo”