This album contains Japanese, Shamisen, Shakuhachi, swing, rock, funk, spiritual, indian, flamenco, new age etc. If you are looking for something unheard, this is it. It's hard to categorize so let me call it an "Music Melting Pot"!
Shamisen & Koto 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 NHK. In 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, where she started playing Shamisen, she immediately found a global possibility of the instruments.
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 Haddad, David Fiuczynski, Alain Mallet, Joe Lovano. Sumie has collaborated with other world musical instrumentalists such as Gamlan, Tabla, Taiko, Shakuhachi, Erhu, Gu Xheng, Celtic harp etc.
In February 2011, Sumie started extended alternative band J-Trad And More with Michel Reis, Shu Odamura, Evan Gregor, 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" has been released in 2012 September.
Sumie is currently based in NYC. She tours regularly with her own band. Her motto is "Literary Borderless Music" so she performs everywhere. From Carnegie Hall to jail, The Cathedral Church of St. John Devine to gay bars, Harvard University to hospice.