About me

 Japanese Koto & Shamisen Player, Singer Songwriter and Bandleader Sumie (Sumi-é) Kaneko has been recognized as a pioneer by her uniquely chromatic use of the instruments.

 Kaneko was born and raise up in Chiba, Japan. She started playing Koto when she was at five, next year she was already broadcasted by NHKIn 1995, Sumie won in Takasaki International Competition in Koto performance. In the meantime, she started listening to Jazz and singing pops. At Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, she started playing Shamisen only because it was a required instrument. She immediately found a global possibility of the instruments, two years later she received Joei award (given to exceptionally talented students) in Shamisen performance.

 Meanwhile, Sumie was always looking for another approach to the music, and decided to study Jazz vocal performance at Berklee College of Music. At Berklee, she was focusing on assimilating of Jazz and Japanese traditional music and finding fusion art. Her project received high achievement from the most dominant forces in the music world of today, such as Jamey HaddadDavid FiuczynskiAlain MalletJoe Lovano. Sumie has collaborated with other world musical instrumentalists such as Gamlan, Tabla, Taiko, Shakuhachi, Erhu, Gu Xheng, Celtic harp etc.

 As one of major success, Sumie directed music on three productions of a winner of Pulitzer Prize Paula Vogel's "The Long Christmas Ride Home" in Providence RI  (World Premier), New Haven CT and Washington DC. In this production Sumie collaborated with the puppeteer Basil Twist. For other recent performances: Past 

 In 2008 traditional duo project Infinity started with Yoko Reikano Kimura. They toured in Japan, Boston, Jamaica, Bolivia, Peru and more scheduled in 2012 season by Japan Foundation.

 In February 2011, Sumie started extended alternative band  J-Trad And More with Casper Gyldensøe, Mario Carrillo and Pablo Eluchans fusing her Japanese roots with the colors of jazz and freedoms of rock. In this band she produces an original sound with beyond of traditional instrumentation: Vocal, Shamisen, Koto, Guitar, Piano, Sitar, Acoustic Bass and Drums. The first album "J-Trad And More" will be released in 2012 summer.

 Sumie is currently based in NYC. She tours regularly with her own band and workshops as a DoDon-Pa! with Japanese Taiko Drummer Isaku kageyama. After March 11 of 2011, her volunteer performances has been in scene of Japan Tsunami Relief events at Boston BalletHarvard UniversityBoston Medical CenterJapan Society, Fish Family FoundationOld South ChurchKaji Aso StudioBluefin Restaurant and Berklee College of Music.