b. Kiryu, Japan. Yamanaka performed piano from age four, studying traditional music and was ultimately granted the grand reward of Japan’s Gumma New Talent competition. In america, she studied in the Berklee University Of Music, graduating in 2000. She was critically praised, earning DownBeat publication’s award for Exceptional Performance as well as the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Teachers) Sisters In Jazz competition, pursuing which she toured European countries with additional winners. Among many performers with whom she’s performed are George Benson, Gary Burton, Terri Lyne Carrington, Curtis Fuller, George Russell and Ed Thigpen. In the first 00s she was an associate of DIVA, the all-female big music group led by drummer Sherrie Maricle, with which group she’s performed concerts and documented. Yamanaka also performed within the DIVA spin-off quintet, Five Play, with which group she performed on Marlene VerPlanck’s 2003 recording It’s THE METHOD THAT YOU Play THE OVERALL GAME. Among music artists Yamanaka has applied to her recording times are bass players Ray Parker, Ben Road and Larry Grenadier and drummers Ben Perowsky, Rodney Green and Jeff Ballard.