A Japanese American koto performer based in Southern California, Reiko Obata began studying koto in 1980 under masters in the U.S. and Japan including Mde. Masazumi Mizuno in San Diego, Mde. Kayoko Wakita in Los Angeles and composer virtuoso Shinichi Yuize in Tokyo. Reiko has a master's degree in music from San Diego State University and a Japanese koto master's degree from the Seiha Conservatory of Japanese Music. Obata is a versatile and accomplished koto player, having performed with legendary jazz saxophonist Hollis Gentry III; San Diego Symphony cellist Mary Oda Szanto; shakuhachi composer John Neptune; bassists Bill Andrews and Marshall Hawkins; pianist composers David Ward-Steinman and Kamau Kenyatta; guitarists Fred Benedetti and Jimmy Patton; San Diego Symphony principal flutist Demarre McGill and jazz flutist Louisa West; drummers Kevin Koch (Fattburger), Russell Bizzett, San Diego Symphony percussionist Jonathan Szanto; harpist Melissa Morgan; and Latin harpist Miguel Lopez.