Ilamabad - The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Pakistan Japan Cultural Association would hold `Japanese Traditional Music and Improvisation’ by a Japanese Artist Sumie Kaneko on May 23.

The event to be held at National Art Gallery would not be less than any treat for the music lovers of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Japanese Koto and Shamisen player, Jazz singer and songwriter Sumie Kaneko has been recognized as a pioneer by her uniquely chromatic use of the instruments.

Her project `J-Trad And More’ is well received over the world that is fusing her Japanese roots with the colours of jazz and freedoms of avant-grade.

She started playing Koto when she was 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 Centre, TED talk, Getty Centre, Boston Ballet, Silk Road Project, Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

She has also given workshops at academic scenes such as Harvard University, Princeton University, Wellesley College, Berklee College of Music and many more.

In 2004, her group was invited to the Washington DC Jazz festival that is co-sponsored by the Embassy of Japan. In 2015, her group made big debut at the Blue Note NY, which is the most well known jazz club in the world.

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 also painters, dancers and calligraphers. Her second album “Dead of the Night” will be released in July 2015.

She has visited Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bangladesh and many of domestic tours including Puerto Rico. She is currently invited to Dehli, Islamabad, Karachi and Dhaka.

Koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, which is similar to the Pakistani Santoor or Swarmandal. The Koto is the national instrument of Japan.

The Shamisen is a three stringed instrument similar to a Banjo. It is believed that the origin of OT was an Okinawan three-stringed instrument called `Sanshin’ which originated in China.