Meet the Band!
Yoonmi Choi is a Korean jazz pianist who has earned multiple piano degrees in Korea, the Netherlands, and New York. As one-of-a-kind protege of the ivories, Yoonmi has graced the stage of over 300 venues across Europe. Some of her performance credits include Brussels Marathon Jazz Festival (Belgium), Oosterport (Netherlands), Ulsan jazz festival(Korea), Swinging jazz Groningen (Netherlands), and International Rostov jazz festival (Russia). Her original composition series "7 Days" received the 2014 International Leiden Jazz award in the Netherlands. Yoonmi currently works as a music director for Truffels Murder Mystery Jazz Dinner in Times Square while playing with a variety of bands in addition to leading her own jazz trio. She even published a book about computer software! yoonmi.net/
Tina Lama is a bassist from Ithaca, NY. Over the past 17 years, she has performed and recorded with various groups throughout North America. She is featured on over 20 albums - most recently with the Emmy-nominated group, Gangstagrass, whose music is the theme for the FX Network show "Justified". In addition, she has performed alongside many great artists including Tony Bennett, Danilo Perez, Adam Cruz, Jimmy Heath, as well as members of A Tribe Called Quest and Black Sheep. tinalamamusic.com
Derek Swink received his education at Western Michigan University where he studied with Judy Moonert, Keith Hall, and Billy Hart. After graduating, Derek performed around the world as a musician on Holland America Cruise Lines. Since moving to NYC, you can hear Derek performing with world-class musicians in the pits of musical theatre, in late night jazz sessions, and on recordings with local bands like Drown Your Boots and Dizzy Bats.
Originally from Indianapolis, Andy Warren earned a jazz studies degree from the University of Michigan, where he studied trumpet with William Lucas of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, jazz great Ingrid Jensen, and Dwight Adams of the Stevie Wonder band. Andy moved to New York City in late 2013 and has since earned a reputation as a versatile sideman capable of tackling any musical situation, including jazz, swing, salsa, soul, and classical. Career highlights include playing for two international musical theatre tours (Dreamgirls and A Christmas Story: The Musical) and performing at world-renowned venues such as Birdland, Blue Note, Rainbow Room, and BB King Blues Club. In addition to maintaining a filled freelancing schedule, Andy stays busy teaching, arranging/transcribing music for a variety of bands, and playing the bongos and other Latin percussion.
Bassist Leo Smith is grateful for his involvement with the NY Nightingales. He found the Gales through an ad on Craigslist! A nervous first date has turned into a steady relationship filled with laughter and fun. Leo moved to New York recently after a twenty-year career performing music with the Air Force Band. He is active in the singer-songwriter, jazz, and music theater circles.