In your own words, what is your ethnic identity? (for individuals)
Japanese-American. I was born in the U.S. but was raised in both Japan and the U.S.. My identity is that of someone who grew up in the nebulous zone between two very different cultures without fully belonging to either one, but identifying most closely with those who also have a multi-cultural background.
Your Artistic Background/Mission
Kyoko Kitamura is a vocalist and composer, with the added quirk of being a former journalist (a one time Gulf War reporter) with a childhood training in piano at the Juilliard pre-college division (under the late Ms.Jane Carlson). She is primarily known for her highly personal style of vocal improvisation and has performed and/or recorded with leading improvisers including Anthony Braxton, Reggie Workman, Steve Coleman, Jim Staley, Jay Clayton, Art Lande, and Taylor Ho Bynum. Kitamura can be heard on such albums as the critically acclaimed Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings release "Madeleine Dreams" (Firehouse 12 Records 2009), Jamie Baum's "Solace" (Sunnyside Records 2008), Steve Coleman's "Lucidarium" (Label Bleu 2004), and Laura Andel Electric Percussive Orchestra "In::tension:." (Rossbin Records October 2005).
She also co-leads Go-Zee-Lah, which will be performing this year at the Vision Festival, a Japanese-pop/rock-influenced improvising trio featuring Yayoi Ikawa (piano) and Harris Eisenstadt (drums).
Your Creative Influences
Stockhausen, Anthony Braxton, Messiaen, Tim Berne, Kazuo Ishiguro, Natsuo Kiryu, Yayoi Ikawa, Jim Staley, Ikue Mori
Kyoko, it is so great to learn about your work and to know that you are here in Brooklyn! Did you know that we are in DUMBO? Please do drop by (give us a heads-up) as it would be great to meet you. Also, our next Town Hall is on June 1, it would be great to see you for that: http://www.aaartsalliance.org/page/town-hall
Take care and welcome to the Asian American Arts Alliance