Kitarō (喜多郎, born February 4) is a Japanese musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist who is regarded as a pioneer of new age music.
Kitaro was born in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Japan and is a graduate of Toyohashi Commercial High School. After graduating, Kitaro moved to Tokyo to experience and become a part of the music scene, and it was there that he discovered the synthesizer. His first synthesizer was analog, and he recalls having “just loved the analog sound that it made compared to today’s digital sound”.
His parents were first opposed to the idea of their son having a musical career. In an effort to maneuver him towards their vision, they made arrangements for him to take a job at a local company. In return, he left home without telling them. He supported himself by taking on several part time jobs such as cooking and civil service work, while composing songs at night.
In the early 1970s, he changed completely to keyboards. He joined the Japanese music group Far East Family Band which was formed in 1965, and toured with them around the world. While in Europe, he met the German electronica and former Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze. Schulze produced two albums for the band and gave Kitaro some tips for controlling synthesizers. In 1976, Kitaro left Far East Family Band and travelled through Asia (China, Laos, Thailand, India)
Universally acknowledged as the founding architect of new age music, Kitaro has achieved global acclaim over a more than three decade long career with a signature sound and a pioneering fusion of cultures, techniques and spheres of consciousness.