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Kioto Aoki was born into the performing tradition as 5th generation of the Toyoakimoto artisan house, an okiya (geisha house) performing arts family from Tokyo with roots dating back to the Edo period. Studying under her Tokyo-born father Tatsu Aoki (Toyoaki Sanjuro) and now performing shamisen under her professional name Toyoaki Chitose (豊秋千東勢), Aoki continues this artistic family lineage in Chicago on taiko, shamisen and tsuzumi.  

Aoki's music practice is informed by the Japanese aesthetics of ma and emphasizes the melodic phrasing of space and choreography to challenge common perceptions of percussion as mere rhythm. Her stoic, durational explorations involve performative soundscapes that oscillate between the organic textures of live performance and sonic nuances of cyclical sustain


Musical projects and performances include Experimental Sound Studio’s Sonic Pavilion Festival at Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, the Soundtrack series at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Tatsu Aoki’s The MIYUMI Project, Yoko Ono’s SKYLANDING, 24 Hour Drone Festival '24, The Reduction Ensemble, and the Taiko Legacy / Reduction series. Aoki also leads Tsukasa Taiko, the Japanese drumming program at Asian Improv aRts Midwest and is active within the experimental and creative music communities in Chicago and the Bay Area.

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DISCOGRAPHY Paper, not plastic DUBS – FPE Records (2024) Paper, not plastic – FPE Records (2023) Legends and Legacies II – Asian Improv Records (2023)
 Chicagobihiro: Mehata Sentimental Legend – Asian Improv Records (2022) No Traffic in Space – Asian Improv Records (2021)
 The MIYUMI Project: Jia Ling’s Journey 家玲的旅途 – Asian Improv Records (2021) Best of The MIYUMI Project – FPE Records (2020) Boxes by Melody Takata – Asian Improv Records (2019) The MIYUMI Project: Raw and Alive II – Asian Improv Records (2018) Reduction Quartet – Asian Improv Records (2018) Then They Came For Us – Alphawood Gallery & Asian Improv Records (2017) Tsukasa Taiko National Gintenkai – Asian Improv Records (2017) SKYLANDING – Asian Improv Records & Yoko Ono (2016) The MIYUMI Project: Raw and Alive – Asian Improv Records (2016) Pages of Madness by Melody Takata – Asian Improv Records (2015) Tsukasa Taiko – Asian Improv Records (2013) Toyoakimoto – Asian Improv Records (2012) Gintenkai – Asian Improv Records (2011) Hide Yoshihashi & JASC Tsukasa Taiko – Asian Improv Records (2006)

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