Shinichi Kinoshita

Shinichi Kinoshita

The acclaimed Tsugaru-Shamisen star and top Japanese traditional instruments players present a fusion of traditional and modern improvised rhythm and sounds.

Shinichi Kinoshita's outstanding technique and soulful sound has given him reputation as “ the shamisen player with divine hands “

Tsugaru-Shamisen is a three-string banjo-like instrument played in the folk style in Tsugaru region of northern Japan with history of more than 100 years. Its character and spirit are often compared with jazz, both in its improvisational approach and in its roots. it evolved from blind street minstrels who played door to door. With its earthy and percussive sound, it is particularly popular with younger Japanese now.

Born in 1965 and starting shamisen lessons at age 10, Kinoshita passed a Tsugaru-shamisen audition at age 17. He went on to win the Tsugaru-shamisen Nationwide Tournament two years running (1986-87) and in 2000, he won the first championship of “Tsugaru Shamisen National Tournament of Successive Class “A” Champion Yamada Chisato Cup Contest.

Kinoshita's challenging music fuses these traditional roots with rock, jazz and contemporary music. He has established his own dynamic genre, Tsugaru Fusion, which explores this crossover of traditional Japanese and Western instruments of any genre.

In November 2001, he released first original albums, “Den” and “Kai”. In 2002, he released “SOGU”, a collaboration album with a celebrated Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos from avex io and toured all over Japan. His fourth album “SHOW” features authentic Tsugaru-Shamiesn style (released in February 2003).

Kinoshita has performed in over 25 countries. Last year he participated in International Istanbul Music Festival and gave concerts in UK.