Born and raised in Japan, Kunihiko Mikami studied classical piano from ages 6 to 15. He came to New York in 1975 to pursue a jazz career. He has performed in major New York jazz clubs (Sweet Basil, Village Gate, Blue Note, Hotel Kitano) and concert halls such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and Town Hall.
In 1991, Mikami was invited to be the pianist in jazz legend Lionel Hampton’s band. Since, then, he has traveled and played mainstream jazz all over the U.S. and Europe with this orchestra. Mikami was Hamp’s last pianist, and performed with the Hampton Orchestra until his passing in 2002. Also, he has played with various other talented professionals - saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, vocalists Dakota Staton, Melba Joyce and Queen Esther Marrow. He was a pianist for Duke Ellington Orchestra in the ’97 Europe Tour and the ’98 Tour. Playing with the Ellington orchestra at NYC, Birdland from 1998 till 2006. Currently he is performing with the Cab Calloway Orchestra.
In 2003, Kunihiko and a performing artist, Ms. Haruka Moriyama created a joint project “iMimenation”: piano and mime collaboration. They have toured in Philippines, Brunei, Austria, Dominican Republic, Honduras and Ecuador .