Keiko Abe transformed the marimba into today's five-octave solo instrument and full-fledged member of classical ensembles. Prior to Abe, the marimba was viewed somewhat disdainfully as a xylophone with a lower range: an instrument incapable of classical concert performance.
Over the course of Keiko Abe's long musical career, beginning as a child prodigy at age ten, her rare gifts have garnered her recognition as a musical genius, consummate artist, innovator in her field, and composer of classical pieces of art music for her instrument. As Abe's audiences worldwide know, she is also a spellbinding performer.
In this biography, author Rebecca Kite tells the untold story of how Keiko Abe's groundbreaking influence on the evolution of the marimba and its music, Rebecca Kite also offers a history of the xylophone, the marimba, and the music, composers, and performers each instrument was associated with over the centuries.
Biographer Rebecca Kite is a marimbist and composer whose solo recordings include Across Time and Prism. Kite teaches marimba and percussion as a member of the music faculty at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. She is a frequent contributor to Percussive Notes, the journal of the Percussive Arts Society.