Taiko Saito


“The first time I heard Taiko Saito perform was at the Clermont/Ferrand vibraphone competition. I was one of the member of a distinguished jury of vibraphonists and composers. Out of the several finalists presented, I was immediately taken bz Taiko´s performance, which embodied everything that moves me, especially on the vibraphone! Taiko not only displayed exceptional technique, but mor importantly she projected her own voice on an instrument that dares one to uncover. Her demeanor while performing projected balance, sound and a daring selection of compositions. A beautiful improvisation piece was especially evident, but even more impressive was her daring to dive in some uncharted waters which she glided through with ease.”
Mike Mainieri

“When Taiko came the first time on take a lesson with me, I felt that she had a natural musical talent, and that someday she would be a true musician. I am delighted about her unique music, which is full of her creativity.”
Keiko Abe

“… With just two percussive instruments, it is a minor miracle how these musicians keep the listener’s interest. … It reminds us that if you want to get someone to listen, whisper.”
George Harris – All About Jazz

“… a duo of two marked and outstanding personalities who in no phase need a noisy self-presentation but project but extend beyond themselves into an independent world of sound of their own. …”
Tobias Böcker – Jazz Zeitung, Germany

“In mood it’s somewhat reminiscent of Corea/Burton’s Crystal Silence, with the qualifications that that implies; delicate, often quite beautiful. …”
Ray Comiskey – The Irish Times

Taiko Saito was born in Sapporo. She took lessons with marimba-virtuoso Keiko Abe and studied classical marimba and percussion at the Toho School of Music.

In 1997 she began to improvise and to write music, which led her to move to Berlin, where she studied vibraphone and composition with Prof. David Friedman at the Universität der Künste Berlin.

Among her first awards are prizes of the World Marimba Competition 1996 in Stuttgart and the NTT-Docomo Awards 1998. At the Jazz & Blues Award Berlin 2002 she was awarded first price as well as the audience prize. Later she won the First Prize at the 3eme Concours International de VIbraphone Claude Giot 2005 in France, and the Special Talent Award at the Universal Marimba Competition 2007 in Belgium. In 2010 she got the Studio Prize from Belriner Senats.

In 2003 she founded the marimba/vibraphone+piano duo with German jazz piano player Niko Meinhold. They performed at events such as the Reykjavik Jazz Festival (Iceland), Tong-Yeong Music Festival (South-Korea), Zeltsman Marimba Festival (USA), Jazz Meile (Germany), JOE Festival, Jazzfestival in Bonn, Colombia and Japan. Their album “KOKO” was released in 2005 by Pirouet Records and new album “Live in Bogotá” was released in 2014.

Together with Rupert Stamm, she also created the jazz mallets duo “PATEMA”, who’s recording was released by Zerozero in 2007. They performed at events auch as the Worms Jazzfestival, Jazz in den Ministergärten and Japan Festival.

In 2008 David Fiedman produced her solo project and recorded the album “Landscape” by Norsk Musikforlag.

As a soloist, Taiko has appeared with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra and with Orchestra d´Auvergne in France, and presented concerts and given masterclasses at the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá (Colombia), International Mycka Marimba Akademie (Poland), Rotterdams Conservatorium (Netherlands), Shobi School of Music, Otani College of Art and at the Percussion Society Hokkaido (Japan). She was also a jury member of International Vibraphone Competition 2008 in France.

As a composer, Taiko won the originality prize in the International Marimba Competition 2004 for “Landscape IV”. In 2008 she wrote “Hide and Seek for 9 percussionists”, commissioned by the percussion ensemble “coup de baguette” and she arranged David Friedman´s ” Sogni D`oro” for 5 mallets player, commissioned by Friedman in 2011.

Taiko played with Keiko Abe, David Friedman, Tom van der Geld, Eric Sammut, Michael Schiefel, Celine Rudolph, Daniel Matter, Yelena Kuljic, Cymin Samawatie, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Oli Potratz, Ketan Batti. She worked with hip-hop artist and producer Shing02 and contemporary composer Sofia Gubaidulina.


KOKOTOBトリオの巧みな演奏は聴衆を深く色彩豊かな響きの世界へ誘導した。” ドイツラジオ 2010

繊細な彼女はエネルギーとアイディア満ちている。彼女は6本撥技法を一歩前進させた。” デビット・フリードマン 20096

飛行機に乗って地図を片手に私の家を探し、レッスンを受けに来た少女に、私は天性の音楽性と将来、真の 音楽家になるであろうことを予感していました。”
安倍圭子 20085

特別な技法を使うだけでなく、もっと重要なのは、自分自身の声を楽器で表現していたことだ。” マイク・マイニエリ 2009

チック・コリアとゲーリー・バートンのデュオを彷彿とさせるエキサイティングなプレイ。即興の多様性 とともにジャズや現代音楽の語法を巧みに操りながら独自の世界を築いている。齊藤はジャズ、クラシック の垣根を感じさせない注目すべき希少なアーチストだ。”
高山直也 音楽の友 2008 5

多彩なハーモニーや陰影に富むストーリーを展開する鮮やかな6本マレットの妙技。” 悠 雅彦 2008 3

独特であり、非常に繊細で優美である。特に彼女が2本の弓を使って弾いたときは大変美しかった。” クリスティーネ・ステファン ジャズテーティク 2005 12

齊藤易子(日本)がニコ・マインホルド(ドイツ)と組んだデュオ「KOKO」の演奏は 非常に晴々としたものだった。これ以上にブリリアントな二重奏を聞いた事があるだろうか。 演奏はおもに齊藤易子がマリンバとヴィブラフォンでマレットとコントラバスの弓を使って 日本的なメロディーを奏で、非常に美しくかつチャーミングなサウンドを創り上げていた。 演奏会の後、アイスランドを代表する二人のヴィブラフォン奏者に感想を聞いたが、 彼らは非常に感銘を受け、楽器を提供してくれたレイニアー・シゴロソン氏は 「彼女は virtuoso(巨匠)だ」と絶賛した。これに更に何を述べたらよいのだろうか。

フリードリック・テオドーソン ジャズニュース・アイスランド 2005 9 30

才能豊かな日本人ヴィブラフォン奏者の齊藤易子がこのバンド「ゴンドワナ」の一音を成しており、二人の 卓越した技巧はさらにドイツ人ベース奏者トム・アウフファートと スイス人ドラム奏者マルク・ドレーゲ ルとの共同体によって完全性をなし遂げている。 この四人の即興は退屈というものをまったく与えない見 事な演奏であった彼女は大変度胸のある快闊な人で あり、全く純粋な芸術性をもつ演奏家だ” ベルリーナー・モルゲンポスト新聞 2002 12 16

彼女は大変度胸のある快闊な人であり、全く純粋な芸術性をもつ演奏家だ” シュツットガルト新聞 1996 6 4 日