Ayumi Ishito | The Family Interviews


Meet Ayumi Ishito

There’s something about jazz that is inherently cool. Maybe it’s because people playing saxophones tend to be wearing a trilby or a fedora and some slick shades. I actually hate fedoras with a passion that burns like a thousand suns. They’re ridiculously small for most people’s heads.

Enter Ayumi Ishito. This Brooklyn-based saxophonist and composer has an affinity for jazz and seems to have successfully avoided fedoras. And she is COOL.

Her latest album Midnite Cinema is an explosive and eclectic collection of work that combines all sorts of sounds and noises into an atmospheric and lush experience, throwing in some good old 90s rock to boot. 

Below we talk to Ishito about her clown boyfriend and the importance of good ears. Read on my dear friends!



A MAD-LIB By Ayumi Ishito

Most doctors agree that bicycle SPEEDING.is a TOUGH form of exercise that benefits MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS.of all ages. Riding a bicycle enables you to develop your EYE.muscles as well as COMFORTABLY.increase the rate of your STOMACH. Bicycle riding is also a REFRESHING THIEF. More BIRDS.around the world PEDAL.bicycles than drive OLD LADIES. No matter what kind of RAMEN RESTAURANT.you ride, always be sure to wear a KYOTO.on your head and have reflectors on your LEGS, especially if you RUSH.at night.


Would you rather…

your favorite restaurant be modified to have massage chairs that are on at all times, or there is a clown in there doing clown things at all times? Please explain why. 

Clown. Because I have a boyfriend who is clown.

Where are you when you come up with your songs? In the shower? On the train?

While I’m humming in the shower

Was there a concert or song that inspired you to want to make music?

“Remote Control” by Wayne Shorter from an album called “Phantom Navigator”.

He added voice of the monster in the song. That made me realize you can do whatever you want in your music.

Do you believe you have to be literate to play jazz in 2019?

No. You have to have good ears.


What was your most memorable performance, and why?

First time I performed with the legendary Daniel Carter sitting in with a free jazz metal band Eighty Pound Pug. He took the whole band and the audience to heaven. He made one of them cried.

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Neither?


What is the last book you read?

"The Crimes That Bind" by Keigo Higashino


What stops you most from shedding?


How many legs are too many legs?


If you were an onomatopoeia which one would you be?


What genre/sub-genre are you waiting for a resurgence of?

50s Hawaiian rock

Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)

My new album “Midnite Cinema” is out now! It’s nostalgic of 90s rock but pushes towards the future

Sean Maldjian