Mika Mimura was born in Osaka, Japan. She began to play piano when she was 3 years old and marimba when she was 6. Mika learned marimba with Kayo Toda. She joined a brass band when she was in junior high school. Her first professional engagements performing marimba were in collaboration with the Kansai Marimba Association and Japan Xylophone Association. Through her membership and affiliation with these associations, Ms. Mimura gained national exposure and acclaim, becoming a frequent guest on the popular Japanese television program, Ai-wa chikyu wo sukuu from an early age. Ms. Mimura received the Kobe Music Concert Board of Education award in 1994.
Mika began her studies in classical music at the Osaka College of Music in April of 1997 and finishing with her Master's degree in March in 2003. She was semi-finalist of the Belgium Marimba Competition Duo division in 2001. She was a prolific performer during these years. She joined marimba great Mariko Matsumoto's group, where she had the distinction to perform in concert at the designation of Yakushiji in Nara as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
In 2003, Mika was inspired by the legendary Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone to study jazz vibraphone with Toshihiro Akamatsu. She attended the Berklee Mallet Week and was awarded a Berklee World Scholarship in Tokyo. She entered Berklee College of Music in the fall of 2004 and graduated in December of 2007. During her tenure at Berklee, Mika studied closely with Dave Samuels, Ed Saindon, Tiger Okoshi. She was a regular member of Phil Wilson's Rainbow Big Band and Rainbow All Stars as well as Ricardo Monzon’s Guatemala Marimba. Ms. Mimura had a concert performance with jazz saxophonist Greg Osby at the Berklee Performance Center. In 2007, Mika joined the group, “The BandA ecLectics”, whose leader, Petros Sakelliou, won first prize at the Thelonious Monk Institute Composition Competition. We performed at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. She received the Berklee International Grant in 2006-2007, and she received the Division Achievement Award, Professional Achievement Award in 2007.
In 2008, Mika moved to New York. Mika released her first album “Precious” in 2009 with renowned artists such as Grammy Winning bassist Michael League of Snarky Puppy. She joined the group “Banda Magda”, whose leader is Magda Giannikou. The band went on tour in Europe, US, Columbia in South America. She has played with Banda Magda at such venues as the Irving Plaza, Celebrate Brooklyn, Joe’s Pub, 92Y Tribeca, as well as well-known Blue Note Jazz Club. After the success of their brilliantly colorful debut album, “Amour, t’es là?,” it was listed on the Top 10 Billboard World Music Charts, NPR’s All Songs Considered, First Listen, and NPR’s 10 favorite World Music Albums 2013.
During one of her many tours in Japan, in 2011, she had the opportunity to perform at the NHK Osaka Hall with the YS Ballet Company. This was one of her favorite performances of all time.
In 2014, Mika released album “Dreamii” These are 12 tracks all her own original composition with Grammy Winning bassist Michael League, vocalist and accordion player Magda Giannikou of Banda Magda, five-time Grammy winning drummer Mark Walker of the Paquito D'Rivera Quintet and the famous jazz vibraphonist, Warren Wolf.
In 2015, Mika performed at the Blue Note & The Japan Foundation presents East meets
West Series at the New York Blue Note Jazz Club with her group. Mika performed at the "Peace Concert" on board the USS
Missouri on December 7th at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. The concert was for the 70th Anniversary of World WarⅡ.
In 2016, Mika
performed with Banda Magda at the Cotton Club in Japan. She also went on a west coast tour starting in California and making their way into Nevada and Arizona as part of the tour. Mika performed
at Embassy of Japan Information and Culture Center in Washington DC with her group.
Mika will continue to work energetically performing, teaching, composing and arranging regardless of genre: jazz, pop, rock, classic and world music.