From Japan

  • Yu Hatakeyama

    Yu Hatakeyama was born in Rikuzentakata City in Iwate prefecture. While growing up in Saitama prefecture, she joined brass band with her friends at junior high school. She was introduced to percussion instruments at band practice, and she decided to become a professional percussionist.

    Later, Yu studied at Kunitachi College of Music, majoring in percussion. By the time of her graduation, she was awarded first prize at the Newcomer Concert of the Japan Percussion Instrument Association.

    Yu’s career as a professional percussionist includes appearances as a support musician for Keisuke Kuwata and Tokiko Kato. After releasing her first percussion solo album in 2007, she produced 4 more solo albums. Yu has also released an instrumental DVD, “A Guide for Shifting to Cajón as a Drummer” as a leading Cajón musician in Japan.

    Yu Hatakeyama has promoted many innovative ideas so that “usually behind-the-scenes” instruments, such as percussion, can shine on stage. For example, setting up the percussion instruments front and center on the stage, and organizing a live concert with percussion as the lead instruments. You might also find her at a “Battle Live” with other drummers, or in collaboration with rakugo (traditional Japanese comic storytelling), of which she is a big fan!