Kaoru Watanabe

Kaoru Watanabe’s work is grounded in traditional Japanese music while imbued with contemporary jazz, improvisation, and experimental music elements. His signature skill of infusing Japanese culture with disparate styles has made him a much-in-demand collaborator working with such iconic artists as Wes Anderson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laurie Anderson, Jason Moran, Yo-Yo Ma, Japanese National Living Treasure Bando Tamasaburo, Eva Yerbabuena, Silkroad Ensemble, and Rhiannon Giddens. A trained jazz musician, he lived in Japan for a decade, where he became the first American to become a performer and Artistic Director of the iconic taiko drumming ensemble Kodo. Each collaboration, each note, and each interwoven bloodline deepens his understanding of the world and his place within its vast musical landscape. watanabekaoru.com