Paul Kikuchi, a percussionist, composer, and instrument maker, lives in Seattle, Washington. He holds degrees in Music from Bennington College and California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Milford Graves, Wadada Leo Smith, Swapan Chaudhuri, and Vinny Golia.
Kikuchi is a member of the Empty Cage Quartet, Open Graves, Tide Tables, the Toy Boats, and Orkestar Zirkonium. He leads Paul Kikuchi’s Portable Sanctuary, an ensemble that features his compositions and his sculptural percussion instruments. Aside from his primary projects, he also collaborates with many musicians, including Stuart Dempster, Byron Au Yong, Gust Burns, Bill Horist and Wally Shoup. Kikuchi has performed throughout North America and Europe at festivals such as the Pepsi Sziget Festival (Budapest, Hungary) Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Festival for People and Thingamajigs (San Francisco, California) and the Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle, Washington). Recordings of Kikuchi’s music can be heard on a variety of record labels including Clean Feed, Prefecture, Nine Winds, Rude Awakening Presente, and PFmentum. Kikuchi is the founder and artistic director of Prefecture Records, a small label specializing in experimental percussion-based music.
In recent years, Kikuchi has received artistic support and funding from Seattle’s Artist Trust (GAP and Fellowship awards), Chamber Music America, the American Composers Forum, the Jack Straw Foundation, and, now, Montalvo Arts Center.