Kaichiro Kitamura is a Japanese vocal percussionist. An early member of Japan's most famous a cappella jazz ensemble 'Try-Tone', he joined this group after a stint with the Waseda University a cappella club 'Street Corner Symphony', where he cut his teeth in the art form.
Kai eventually wanted to know more about what he was doing from a musically technical perspective, so he decided to study jazz drumming. Six years later, after learning the drums from scratch, he then moved back to honing his own brand of vocal percussion, and developed a unique style, focussing mainly on the jazz genre. In spite of the increase profile of a cappella over the last 10 years, Kai is still one of the only vocal percussionists in the world today who specialises in jazz music. Having studied and learnt to play the 'actual' drums is one thing that sets him apart from the vast majority of beatboxers and vocal percussionists, and when you hear him perform, his musicality in this regard is delightfully evident.
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.
Kai 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.
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