Yo Kano

Yo Kano was born in Japan and started playing piano at the age of five. At nine he began to study the trumpet. When he was in his early teens his musical interests shifted from classical to jazz and pop music and he began appearing regularly in concert and on various television and variety shows in Japan. At nineteen, Yo Kano became totally blind. He returned to playing piano and keyboards, continued to work as a composer/arranger and began singing. He signed a contract with the Japanese recording company Polydor in 1981. He performed in Australia and New Zealand under a government-sponsored scholarship in 1982. That same year he came to the United States to study music as a recipient of a scholarship from a Japanese corporation.

Yo Kano arrived in New York and began studying music at the Lighthouse Music School with the late jazz pianist Lance Heyward. He worked as a piano player/singer at various clubs in the city. He simultaneously worked for several Japanese recording companies (Polydor, JVC, King Records) as a composer, arranger and producer.

He released his own album, Manhattan Island in 1987 under King records produced by David Matthews. He recorded a CD and the soundtrack to a Japanese movie with Japanese singer Boro in Hollywood in 1991. That same year he also wrote the theme song for the World Congress on Technology for the Disabled sponsored by the United Nations and the United States held in Washington, D.C.

Since 1999 Yo Kano's concerts have taken him to the far reaches of Asia - Thailand, Mongolia, Indonesia, Singapore and Turkey. He has also released four CDs: Yo!, Mother, Sukiyaki, and Now is the Time.

He is currently working as a composer/arranger using computer sequencing technology. In the past fifteen years, his wide-ranging talents have afforded him many opportunities to produce radio programs, work as a radio personality, and work as a journalist for various magazines.

In 1995 Yo Kano established The International Communication Service for the Blind, Inc. (ICSB), a non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about various services and technological advances, especially in regards to career and employment, to visually-impaired persons. Yo Kano regularly participates in and sponsors charity concerts as well as workshops in music technology for the visually-impaired.

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