Yuki Tei was born in Hiroshima, Japan. He started playing alto saxophone at the age of 15. He moved to America to attend a high school at the age of 16. Moving to New York City after graduating from high school, Yuki was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Mannes Jazz program at the New School University. Today, he holds a B.F.A from New School and a M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Furthermore, he has studied jazz with great masters like Sir Roland Hanna, Michael Mossman, Rick Margitza, Chico Hamilton, Reggie Workman, among many others. He has studied clarinet with Alan Kay and Hideaki Aomori.
Being born to Korean parents, raised in Japan, and living and working in the United States for many years, Yuki's cultural background brings him a unique and broad perspective from which to share not only language, but also cultural knowledge. It is natural for Yuki to believe that music, language, culture are highly connected and reflect the soul of society. Music is a borderless language that connects diverse cultures together and celebrates cultural diversity. Yuki's multicultural background adds further impetus to his music making.
“I feel fortunate to be in the creative environment of New York where he can experience the best that music has to offer” Yuki says. He is eager to be in an environment with other highly motivated musicians where he can be challenged to stretch his abilities as a jazz and classical saxophonist and clarinetist. Performing at some of the most celebrated venues and festivals worldwide, including the US Open, TV appearances on Sesame Street, live performance on WQXR (the classical music station of the New York Times), and jazz festivals in Asia and Europe, Yuki has established himself as one among the elite echelon of the music performance community.
Yuki also has been contributing to artistic community through his participation as both a musician and educator. He has toured and performed in the United States, Europe and Asia. He leads his own jazz group and plays in chamber music ensembles around the NYC area. Yuki was the recipient of the Hiroshima Young Artist Scholarship Award given by the Hiroshima International Cultural Foundation for outstanding performance.