Sumie (Sumi-é) Kaneko creates music that spans a millennium as a master in the traditional repertoire of the ancient instrument, koto. She also pioneered the use of the koto in jazz and experimental music through solo and group performances worldwide. She’s collaborated with artists such as Pulitzer Winner Paula Vogel, Gamelan Galak Tika’s Evan Zyporyn, RONIN’s Nik Bärtsch, taiko artist Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, and gidayu-shamisen virtuoso Yumiko Tanaka.
The koto is the national instrument of Japan. It has 13 strings that are usually strung over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument. The strings are plucked with three fingers and the bridges can be moved for varying pitches. The resulting sounds are both whimsical and grounded; airy and earthly, adding unique movement to any production.