Photo: Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Photo: Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Kaichiro Kitamura (Japan)

Kaichiro Kitamura (Kai) is a professional Vocal Percussionist in Japan. Born in 1974 and a former member of ‘TRY-TONE’, he started doing vocal percussion as a child. He can make sounds that accurately mimic real drumming while breathing in and out. This kind of sound is unique and can accompany both instrumental as well as choral groups.

Recently he has started a new career in music performing with The Idea of North in Australia as a 5th member of a new edition of the group. He is playing vocal percussion as well as singing baritone and bass.

Kai’s relationship with The Real Group includes performing with them at their ‘Live in Tokyo’ concert, which was recorded and released as the ‘Live In Japan' CD. He performed in the 'Count Basie Medley'.

Kai is currently the Japanese representative of 'Vocal Asia' – an Asia-wide a cappella association, and organises many international a cappella events, as well as being invited
frequently to festivals and gatherings as an educator and vocal percussion clinician. He sings and performs regularly with two a cappella groups in both Japan (HamojiN) and Australia (The Idea of North).

He also has his own jazz quartet in Japan (piano, bass, vocals, percussion), in which he is the sole percussionist or, if you will, jazz vocal drummer. This is another thing that sets him apart - very few vocal percussionists work outside of the world of a cappella and vocal music to accompany instrumentalists.

Kai's major topic of workshop teaching is 'Vocal Percussion' both for general players and also at more professional levels. He will offer advice on how to adapt yourself smoothly into the musical context. He likes to focus on developing skills in:

  • Jazz Vocal Drumming (Basic or Advanced);

  • Rhythmic Alignment;

  • Breath Control and Sounds for Vocal Percussion.

One of Kai’s strengths is providing counseling related to performing Vocal Percussion, including support functions such as breathing, building up your phrases, and developing (your) instruments.