Japanese Koto & Shamisen Player, Singer Songwriter Sumie (Sumi-é) Kaneko has been recognized as a pioneer by her uniquely chromatic use of the instruments. Her project that is blending Japanese traditional elements into jazz improvisation is well received over the world.
She started playing Koto when she was at five, next year she was broadcasted by NHK. In 1995, Sumie won in Takasaki International Competition in Koto performance. She studied Japanese traditional music at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music then studied Jazz vocal at Berklee College of Music in 2006.
Performance highlights includes: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, TED talk, Getty Center, Boston Ballet, Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, etc.. She has also gave workshops at academic scenes such as Harvard Univ., Princeton Univ., Wellesley College, Berklee College of Music and many more and in 2014, her group was invited to the Washington DC Jazz Festival that is cosponsored by the Embassy of Japan and in 2015 April, her group made sold-out debut at Blue Note NY that is the most well known jazz club in the world.
In addition, she was the first Shamisen player of a winner of Pulitzer Prize Paula Vogel's "The Long Christmas Ride Home", and has collaborated with many of world instrumentalists such as Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, On Ensemble, Yumiko Tanaka etc. and also painters, dancers and calligraphers. International tours: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Jamaica (by Japan Foundation NY), Bangladesh and many of domestic tours including Puerto Rico. In June 2015, she is invited to Islamabad, Karachi, Dhaka by the Embassy of Japan. The second album “Dead of the Night” will be released in July, 2016.