A former journalist with childhood piano training at Juilliard Pre-College and a stint as a Gulf War reporter on her resumé, Kyoko Kitamura is an oddball vocal improviser and composer who has performed and/or recorded with many distinguished musicians including Anthony Braxton, Reggie Workman, Jay Clayton, Steve Coleman, Jim Staley, and Taylor Ho Bynum.
Mostly recently, she appears on Trillium E (New Braxton House 2011), the first ever studio-recording of an Anthony Braxton opera, and can also be heard on the critically acclaimed Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings release Madeleine Dreams (Firehouse 12 Records 2009), Jamie Baum’s Solace (Sunnyside Records 2008), and Steve Coleman’s Lucidarium (Label Bleu 2004), among others.
She currently works with Anthony Braxton as a vocalist in his Tri-Centric Orchestra and as a board member of his Tri- Centric Foundation.
As for her own projects, she co-leads “Go-Zee-Lah” (duo project with pianist Yayoi Ikawa), “Armadillo In Sunset Park” (collaborative project with dancers of Mark Lamb Dance), and a duo with pianist Russ Lossing. Her own songs are often based on real life experiences. A mini-album “Armadillo In Sunset Park” was released on March 20th, 2012. She also recently became the vocalist and pianist of drummer William Hooker‘s new group, “The Gift.”
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A major asset...Kitamura is an expressive vocalist who
how to be quirky and eccentric but is also quite musical.
--Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
Kitamura's voice is an amazing instrument... -Richard
Kamins, Hartford Courant
Kyoko Kitamura is a wonderful storyteller and has a lovely,
remarkably flexible voice; she writes from the standpoint of
someone who has seen a lot of the world--she is a former
foreign correspondent--however, she is not worldly. There
a sense of wonder, awe and innocence in her voice, tempered
somewhat by an innate and inscrutable sense of loneliness.
--Uncle Dave Lewis, musicologist
An extraordinary experimental/jazz vocalist... --Downtown