Born and raised in Yamaguchi, Japan, Misako Kano began learning to play piano when she was five years old. She studied classical and jazz piano at universities in Japan and the U.S. from the mid-'80s through 1990. Kano resided in N.Y.C. for much of the '90s, worked as house pianist at the Cotton Club (1992), and recorded two albums as leader of a group that included Thomas Chapin. At the close of the '90s, she lived in Tokyo, still working internationally. Kano released an album at the end of 1999 with the wonderful rhythm section of bassist Mark Helias and percussionist Stomu Takeishi.