Profile: Kioto Aoki

Kioto Aoki

Kioto will be joining the ensemble for Melody Takata's interdisciplinary performance work Shadow to Shadow on July 12 in San Francisco. In addition to performing taiko in the work, her photography is part of the visual component as well.

Kioto Aoki is a Shin Nisei Japanese American born and raised in Chicago. Fluent in English and Japanese, she is one of the few remaining original members of Tsukasa and has a career of over 14 years. She has contributed to Tsukasa Taiko's legacy as the first community taiko group in Chicago to perform in professional venues, playing at the old Hot House, Chicago Cultural Center and Asian American Jazz Festival by the time she was 12.

Currently Kioto is captain of the Gintenkai Unit, which features advanced members for larger performances such the annual Taiko Legacy Concert at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; frequently works with renowned Chicago jazz musicians such as Mwata Bowden and Edward Wilkerson Jr., and went on her first international engagement to Poland in November of 2013. She is also pursuing shamisen as part of her education in tradition Japanese music.

Kioto specializes in analogue photography and film making as well, extending her commitment and involvement to the fine arts. She is attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will graduate with a BFA. Her experimental, structural work in the visual arts shares the same aesthetic value with Tsukasa Taiko: One of preserving the artistic integrity of true art in the form of traditional image making and traditional Japanese music.

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