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Artist Spotlight Archive - Feb. 2004
For our 100th artist submission to this Project, we are honored to present a Grammy Award winner and an icon of New Age music, Kitaro.

Kitaro is an internationally known recording artist, whose ethereal music has transposed many boundaries and categories. His musical contributions to the world are often experienced as magical, mystical, and spiritual.

» Kitaro :: Official Web Site
» Domo Artist: Kitaro's Biography
» Buy Kitaro's CDs

Kitaro was born in 1953 in the Toyohashi Prefecture, Japan, as Masanori Takahashi. He grew up in a Buddhist/Shintoist farming family, which instilled an early appreciation for rural simplicities and the wonders of nature. His love for classical music is an obvious companion with his love for nature which is often reflected in his music. Kitaro once referenced classical music as "pictures" and rock music as "power and energy." It's not so surprising then that critics have referred to Kitaro's music as "sound pictures" and "mind music."

His long and prolific musical career began when he was a high school student. Discovering the electric guitar and loving American Rhythm and Blues, he taught himself how to play. He soon formed a band "Albatross" with some of his classmates, setting some of his early poetry to music. His artist name, "Kitaro" was playfully given to him by his friends after a Japanese TV cartoon character.

In the early 70's Kitaro met Klaus Schulze, the German synthesis from Tangerine Dream. From that meeting, Kitaro's music takes a turn into what will become his signature style, when he switches from guitar to keyboards. At the time of this transformation, he toured and recorded with a group called the Far East Family Band.

In the years to follow, he collaborated with many diverse artists such as the Grateful Dead's percussionist Mickey Hart and Jon Anderson from Yes. He also won a Golden Globe Award for his music score on Oliver Stone's "Heaven and Earth" and his first Grammy Award in 1999 for the Best New Age Album "Thinking of You" after receiving many Grammy nominations.

Kitaro's 2003 album "Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai" was recently nominated for "Best New Age Album" Grammy Award (winners to be announced on February 8th, 2004). This album is the first in a series intended to address personal and global concerns alongside forward-thinking views of spiritual growth. Kitaro has embarked on a spiritual pilgrimage, visiting temples on the island of Shikoku, Japan, once undertaken by Buddhist holy man, Ku-kai, more than 1,100 years ago. Sampling bell sounds from each temple, Kitaro distills their essence with inspired musical landscapes.

"The wars of the world don't come from outer space. People create them, people who have a war within themselves. I want to create music that eases that war within." - Kitaro

With guest artists from around the world, it is Kitaro's intention that his message of peace through music will inspire and unify us universally in global and spiritual co-existence.

» "Kuu" by Kitaro

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