Aki Takahashi became a member of Nagata Shachu in 2003 and is the ensemble’s associate artistic director. She is also a Japanese shamisen player and folk singer who studied traditional folk music in Kyoto. As a soloist she has been invited to give shamisen and vocal performances and workshops across Canada and the US. From 2007 to 2011, Aki taught taiko at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In addition to her solo activities, Aki is the founder of the Japanese folk ensemble ten ten, which has released two CDs of original music and has performed with numerous artists from a variety of other cultural backgrounds and traditions. She has also choreographed dance pieces to accompany her music.