Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Jimi Nakagawa started playing drums when he was in high school and performed with local bands before coming to the US in 1981.
In 1987, Jimi joined the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, directed by Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and became a performing member and instructor to adults and children.
In 1997, he returned to Japan to continue his study of taiko and to perform with Sukeroku Daiko Hozonkai and Master Kenjiro Maru of the Wakayama style festival music. In 2009 and 2010, he was given a grant to study "tsuzumi (a Japanese hand drum)" with Master Saburo Mochizuki in Tokyo. In addition to studying Japanese traditonal music, he has studied jazz with celebrated drummer, Robert Kaufman, a former professor at the Berkley College of Music.
In 1999, he and three other members founded a San Francisco Bay Area based taiko group, Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble and started his taiko school, OH-IN TAIKO, in Oakland.
After 11 years of performimg in the ensemble, he left the group in 2011 to pursue his career as a solo artist and expand his taiko school.
Jimi has collaborated with Peter Erskine, Nguyen Le, Frank Martine, Van Anh Vo, Aaron Germain, Sheldon Brown, Robert Moses and Robert Moses Kin, Dr. Anthony Brown and the Asian American Orchestra, Steven Kent, Habib Kahn, Mary Fetting, Ali Ryerson, Charles Loos to name a few. Jimi's refined but driving stickwork has been featured in film, video and on stage.