Jeff Wichmann, a Chicago native, has been playing koto for nearly 20 years, exploring traditional and contemporary Japanese music. He holds an Advanced Koto License from the Sawai Koto Institute in Tokyo, Japan, where he studied under koto master Kazue Sawai. He's been a performing member of Koto Phase, Spring Valley Koto Ensemble, Group Otoko, The Chusei Koto Society Players and Augustana College Koto Ensemble. Performances include those at New York’s Lincoln Center, Harvard University, DC's Kennedy Center, Fermilab and Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. Jeff graduated from Augustana College with degrees in Asian Studies, Theatre and Art and was first introduced to the koto by Dr. Jesse Evans. In addition to his classical koto repertoire he's formed several rock and improvisational bands, playing both koto and trumpet. He recently transposed and performed a new adaptation of Puccini's Madame Butterfly for Japanese instruments at Hot Springs Music Festival. He currently lives in Chicago, composing, teaching and performing with the rock band TENKI.