José Tanaka (Guitarist), Born in Kyoto Japan, and raised by family steeped in the Flamenco arts (his father & his uncle both are Flamenco guitarists & his mother is a Flamenco dancer).
He has a natural Flamenco musical ability & edge, which raised him above other artists. The Spanish name José was given to him by his parents to further strengthen his ties to natural Flamenco. Tanaka has been performing since childhood.
Tanaka ventured away from Flamenco and began playing the electric guitar at age 13 and by 16 was already composing and performing his original music regularly in various clubs in Kyoto, Japan with his rock band.After graduating from high school Tanaka came to the United States to study Jazz, Blues, Latin and Rock styles and theory at the Musician's Institute in Hollywood, California and continued to perform with various bands throughout greater Los Angeles.
After being a guitar instructor for few years, at the age of 24 Tanaka rediscovered his passion for Flamenco and pursued further study in Seville and Madrid, Spain where he polished his technique studying with the Masters and developed and honed his soniquete (groove) and aire (feel) playing the guitar everyday amongst the gypsies. Tanaka continues to go back to Spain frequently to get inspired.
Tanaka's versatility as well as his virtuosity is rare among guitarists today; he shows impressive facility on the acoustic and electric guitars with both finger picking and plectrum technique.His Flamenco guitar styling are dictated by the situation - Tanaka is equally at home accompanying both authentic and popular flamenco styles, another quality amiss in most flamenco guitarists today.
José Tanaka has toured throughout United States, Europe, and Japan performed in many well-known places (Hollywood Bowl in LA, Olympia in Paris, Acropolis in Athens, Tarantos in Barcelona, El Flamenco in Tokyo etc.). Jose was invited as a soloist in the 2001~2002 Passion Latina Tour in France, Monte Carlo, Spain, Greece, and Germany performing alongside world famous opera singer Julia Migenes (who appeared as Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen) and collaborated with the director Scotty Morris (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s lead singer/songwriter).
Other noteworthy performances include appearances with David Williams (Guitarist from Madonna & Michael Jackson), Jonathan Moffett (drummer from Madonna & Michael Jackson), Joey Heredia, Eddie Miller (Keyboard from Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown), Rex Salas (producer Janet Jackson, TLC, Boys II Men.etc), Charlie Peterson (Earth Wind & Fire), Duane Benjamin (Earth Wind & Fire), Antonio Vargas (Ballroom Dancing and Mission impossible 2), Curro Fernandez (Famous Singer From Sevilla), Luis Peña, Antonio Cortez "Chiquitete", Domingo Ortega, Jorge Trasante (Gypsy King), Victor Villena (Gotan Project), La Tania, Ester Ponse (Dancer From Madrid), Cristobal Osorio, Juan Trivino, Omayra Amaya (Great grandniece of Carmen Amaya), Joaquin Encinias, Juan Antonio Suarez “Canito”, World famous wind player Pedro Eustache (Yani, Shakira, Alex Acuña’s Band), Top session guitarist Ramon Stagnaro, World famous drummer Efrain Toro, Gypsy singer from south France Cristo Cortez, Lakshmi, Jesus Montoya, Susana di Palma “Zorongo Flamenco”, Yaelisa’s Camino Flamenco and all the top artists in the United States.
José Tanaka has released his debut album/CD “Gypsy’s Dream” in 1999. Featuring top session musicians percussionist Alex Acuña, wind player Pedro Estache, Jesus Montoya, Peewee Hills, and Cecilia Romero. In 2004, he has released his 2nd Flamenco album/CD “Lluvia” (distributed by Universal Record Japan) with Domingo Ortega (*Taconeo, Palmas), Manuel De La Malena (*Cante, Palmas), Vicente Griego (Cante) , Vanessa Acosta & Sachihiro Kagawa (*Palmas)
*Cante = Vocal, *Taconeo = Footwork, *Palmas = Clap
Due to José’s emotional playing, passion and deep understanding of Flamenco, he has become one of the most sought after Flamenco guitarists in the United States.
In 2007, Jose composed and recoreded entire score for the film "New Film Making" .