Kanoko Nishi is a performer currently based in San Francisco/Bay Area, California. She studied at Mills College from 2002 to 2006). She has studied with, and was inspired primarily by improvisers Fred Frith, Joëlle Léandre, and Kazue Sawai.
Although her primary training is in classical piano performance, Kanoko Nishi’s most recent interest has been in improvisational music making, both in a solo context and in collaborations with other artists. She has been exploring on the piano, as well as on her second instrument, koto (13, or 17-string Japanese zither), various extended techniques, in addition to more traditional techniques, in order to widen the range of vocabularies on each instrument and to enable them to adapt to different musical genres. Her frequent collaborators so far include: Jacob Felix Heule, Jon Raskin, Theresa Wong, Maryclare Brzytwa, and Shayna Dunkelman, but she has performed with various other musicians in the Bay Area, as well as in Europe. Kanoko also enjoys collaborating with dancers, such as Paige Sorvillo, Yuko Kaseki, Isak Immanuel, Sherwood Chen, as well as poets and visual artists to push the limits of her musical language and find ways to communicate with other forms of performance art. She currently works as aid at Hergl Center - Mental Health Care in San Francisco Bay Area.