Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Aiko was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Oregon when she was 18 to study English.
She started singing and playing guitar when she was 24. She first joined a folk-rock band, became a jazz DJ at a college radio station (KBVR-FM), and later formed her own eclectic folk/jazz improvisational trio, Played Twice while in Oregon.
Aiko moved to Seattle in 1993 and started performing her original music at local venues and festivals.(Bumbershoot, Seattle Art Museum, NW Folklife Festivals, Tractor Tavern, Sit and Spin, OK Hotel, On the Boards, etc).
Aiko has appeared on KUOW (National Public Radio) for live and recorded interviews on two different CDs, TCI Television in Seattle, KAOS radio in Olympia, KBCS radio in Bellevue/Seattle for live/interview shows, and KCMU (KEXP) Live Room and Sonarchy Radio, live shows.
In 1996, Aiko formed her own label, Bera Records. Since then she released 3 CDs under this label. In addition, a Japanese label, East Works Entertainment released a CD Sound, in 2000, and in 2001, Aiko was offered a record project by the world-renowned composer/saxophonist John Zorn.
The CD Blue Marble was released under his label, Tzadik, and distributed worldwide in 2001 (produced by Seattle / New York composer / multi-instrumentalists Eyvind Kang and Seattle drummer/engineer Evan Schiller with the special guest appearance by Bill Frisell).
In 2002, she was invited to play at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and in 2003, she toured with Robin Holcomb to play in her music/theater/video, O, Say a Sunset which included musicians like Eyvind Kang, Doug Wieselman, and Guy Klucevsek.
Source: Aiko Shimada