Kioto Aoki

Instructor &  Gintenkai Premier Performance Unit Co-Lead



As daughter of artistic director Tatsu Aoki, Kioto is a descendant of the Toyoakimoto performing arts family dating back to the Edo period. Kioto carries on this direct lineage of the traditional Japanese performing arts as sole professional taiko artist in Chicago – while also playing shamisen and tsuzumi. Performing on stage since age 7, she has a career of over 20 years playing in both traditional and contemporary musical contexts and will be officiated with the Toyoaki family name in 2021. Kioto is active within the experimental and creative music communities in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area both as solo performer and with Tsukasa Taiko. 

Kioto co-leads the Gintenkai Performance Unit of Tsukasa Taiko with Kiyomi Negi, heading Tsukasa Taiko’s professional assignments. And leading the advanced youth and adult performers from Tsukasa Taiko and collaborative group GenRyu Arts based in San Francisco. Projects include Yoko Ono’s SKYLANDING, Tatsu Aoki’s The MIYUMI Project, The Reduction Ensemble, and the Taiko Legacy / Reduction series at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Kioto is also a multi-year Ethnic and Folk Arts Master Apprentice Program Awardee from the Illinois Arts Council. Her first solo taiko album No Traffic in Space was released in 2021 Asian Improv Records. 

Kioto is also Curatorial Manager for the AIRMW Arts Initiative, programming visual art exhibitions and incubating Chicago-based Asian and Asian-American artists and their projects. Her own visual arts practice is grounded in the analogue image and image-making process, 



江戸時代から伝わる豊秋本の伝統芸能をシカゴで、父•青木タツ(Tatsu Aoki)から受け継いでいる。幼少期からプロフェッショナル公演に出演し、現在シカゴで唯一のプロフェッショナル太鼓家。クリエイティブミュージックの世界にも太鼓家として活躍。司太鼓内の最高級「銀天界」のキャプテンを務めプロ公演をリード。シカゴ美術館附属武術大学•大学院を卒業、ビジュアルアーチスト•キュレーター活動もしている。

ソロアルバムリリース日 • 2021年(春)


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