Yuko Asada - Japan
Yuko Asada is a steelpan director, builder, tuner, arranger and a transcriber. Originally from Japan, she started playing the piano at age four, and steelpan at West Liberty University in West Virginia. She continued to play steelpan after transferring to West Virginia University where she graduated with her Bachelor of the Arts in 2001. In 2004, she received her Master’s Degree in steelpan specializing in steelpan construction and manufacturing under the guidance of Cliff Alexis and steelpan performance from Liam Teague at Northern Illinois University. In 2008, she completed her Performer’s Certificate from NIU as a steelpan graduate assistant. Yuko currently directs NIU Community School of the Arts Steelband, two steelbands at Neuqua Valley High School and three steelbands at Naperville District 203. She arranges music all steelbands and tunes for Naperville District 203. She has been a steelband director at Riverwalk Percussion Camp in Naperville, Illinois since 2009 and an assistant director of steelpan at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin since 2013. Yuko has participated in Panorama in Trinidad three times, performing with Invaders (2001), Skiffle Bunch (2006) and Starlift (2011). She currently performs with NIU Steelband and Pastiche Steel Ensemble. Yuko has transcribed various panorama pieces for Liam Teague (Silver Stars and Starlift), Ken “Professor” Philmore (Fonclaire and Sound Specialist of Laventille), Michelle Huggins-Watts (Valley Harps), Len “Boogsie” Sharpe (Dixieland) and Earl La Pierre (Afropan) to name a few. She has been working with Mark Loquan of Music Literacy Trust where she transcribes music for preservation and education.