Vibraphonist/marimba player and composer Taiko Saito (b.1976 Sapporo, Japan) took lessons for eight years with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe. Afterwards she studied classical marimba and percussion at the Toho School of Music. In 1997 Saito began studying vibraphone and composition with David Friedman at the Berlin University of the Arts. She has won awards at the 1996 World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, and the Claude Giot International Vibraphone Competition in France. In 2003 Taiko Saito and jazz pianist Niko Meinhold formed a duo that has gone on to perform in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Their album KOKO was released in 2005 on Pirouet Records. Taiko has appeared with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra d’Auvergne in France, and presented concerts and given masterclasses at the Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá (Colombia), and the Rotterdam Conservatory (Netherlands).