Kyoko Kitamura

Image of Kyoko Kitamura
Visiting Faculty

Kyoko Kitamura uses her unique career trajectory – musician, former journalist, former executive director of an arts organization – to study musical creativity and how it connects to the world at large.


Kitamura is a vocal improviser, bandleader and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. She leads her ensemble Tidepool Fauna (featuring saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Dayeon Seok), co-leads Geometry (with Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris, Tomeka Reid) and is an active side person with recent appearances on albums by William Parker, Cory Smythe and Russ Lossing for which she has garnered stellar reviews.

Kitamura is also known for her decade-long association with legendary musician, composer and thinker Anthony Braxton, and is featured on many of his releases including GTM (Syntax) 2017, the 12-hour recording of his vocal works performed by the Tri-Centric Vocal Ensemble which she directed and co-produced, as well as his operas Trillium E and Trillium J.

Separate from her work in music, Kitamura has had a career as a media professional. She was a reporter for Fuji Television Japan and was their Paris news correspondent, did a stint as a Gulf War reporter in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and also wrote for numerous magazines. Between 2010 and 2019, she was the director of communications for the Tri-Centric Foundation, Anthony Braxton’s nonprofit organization, and then the executive director of the same organization until April 2021.

As an educator, she teaches composing for improvisers, the business side of music and the application of musical creativity to other real-life situations. She has taught and led workshops at various institutions including Dartmouth College, Face the Music (Kaufman Music Center), Arts for Art's Visionary Youth Orchestra and The New School. Kitamura was a visiting faculty member at Bennington for Spring 2022 and Spring 2023, and returns for Spring 2024.