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Born and raised in Chiba, Japan, Sumie Kaneko started playing koto at 5 years of age. While Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music she picked up the shamisen for the first time and immediately discovered new possibilities for both the koto and shamisen. Forever seeking new ways to express her feelings, Kaneko made her way to Berklee College of Music to study jazz vocal performance. There she integrated jazz and traditional Japanese music, creating a sound that spoke to her unique artistic vision. In 2011, she founded J-Trad and More, an alternative band that fuses her Japanese roots with the colors of jazz and freedom of rock.