Kumiko Uyeda

Kumiko Uyeda

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty


Kumiko Uyeda has been performing and teaching music all her adult life. Professor Uyeda was a recipient of the University of California Pacific Rim Research Fellowship and the Eugene-Cota Robles Doctoral Fellowship in 2012. Her research centers on Ainu music, indigenous musics, and acoustemology (incorporating sounding and ecology).

Professor Uyeda co-created the panels “Performing Indigenous Sound Ecologies” for the American Musicological Society’s annual conference and “Sounding Indigeneity in the Anthropocene: an Auditory Anthropology of Power and Resistance” for the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference in 2019.


  • World Music
  • Music of Asia
  • Western Art Music

Research Areas

  • Music of Asia
  • Indigenous Music
  • Music in Social Movements
  • Music in the Anthropocene


  • UC Santa Cruz, Ph.D. in Cultural Musicology, 2015
  • UC Santa Cruz, MA in Performance Practice, 2009
  • Manhattan School of Music, MM in Piano Performance, 1985
  • University of the Pacific, BM in Piano Performance, 1982

Prior Experience

  • Visiting Lecturer in Music History, University of the Pacific
  • Lecturer in Cultural Musicology, UC Santa Cruz
  • Professional Pianist

Selected Publications

  • (2020) “Three Ainu Musicians: A Legacy of Resistance and Synergy.” In National Museum of Ethnology Collection of Essays from the Music and Minorities 2014 International Symposium. Osaka, Japan.

  • (2019) “Negotiating Animism in Indigenous Ainu Music.” In Voicing the Unheard: Music as windows for minorities. Paris: L’Harmattan.

  • (2017) “Fretless Spirit” (documentary film of Ainu tonkori musicians), length of film: 43 minutes