Misaki Nakamichi

Misaki Nakamichi is a female drummer from Osaka, Japan. She is an alumna of Berklee College of Music, where she received a full scholarship in 2013. She received numerous awards and honors. She is currently based in Osaka, Japan. Her authentic sound and groove are very pure, dynamic, and melodic.

She started her music career on the drum set at the age of 10 and has performed in various styles, including jazz, funk/fusion, Latin, and pop/rock.
Starting when she was 12 years old, Misaki studied privately with Japanese drummer Keiji Aramaki.

In Japan, she led her own jazz band and performed original compositions and arrangements in countless jazz events and festivals. During the Yokohama Jazz Promenade Competition in 2010, Misaki won “Grand-Prix” and “Best Player Award” for her drumming skills. That same year she also won “Grand-Prix” at the Kanazawa Jazz Competition. Misaki also performed onstage with Eddie Henderson, the world-famous jazz trumpeter, in 2010 and 2013. In 2012, her band was selected to perform at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in New York City.

In 2013 Misaki moved to Boston, USA to attend Berklee College of Music on a full tuition scholarship. At Berklee, she was selected to be a part of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute Undergraduate Program where she studied Jazz Performance. While attending Berklee, Misaki was mentored by and studied under faculty members such as Terri Lyne Carrington, Bob Gullotti, Tiger Okoshi, Jerry Leake, Dave Santoro, Hal Crook, Ralph Peterson Jr., Neal Smith, Mark Walker, Jon Hazilla, and Billy Kilson. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Performance in 2016.

During her time at Berklee Misaki received numerous awards and honors. In 2015, she was selected as a winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists.
In 2016, she was selected as a finalist in the Hit Like A Girl contest. After graduation, she moved to New York where she played with various bands. She was selected to be a part of “Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead 2017”, which is held in Washington, D.C. She played at New York Blue Note and Blues Alley in Washington D.C. She was also on stage with Tiger Okoshi at Blues Alley.

She toured with a New York based guitar player Gene Ess in Japan during 2018. She was selected to be a part of the jazz program “Generations 2018” held in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, which was directed by Maria Schneider. She won “Japan Champion” in the Hit Like A Girl contest 2019. She was also selected as a grand finalist in the Drum-off Global competition 2019 in Singapore. She won the Jazz Education Network “Sisters In Jazz” Collegiate Combo Competition, which is directed by Tia Fuller and performed at the JEN Conference in New Orleans in 2020.

Currently, Misaki received her Master’s degree at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute with highest honors (summa cum laude). She is endorsing Paiste Cymbals since 2020.


“Misaki is a real talent. She was always leading a band and working a lot
professionally in Japan before coming to Berklee and has focused on the bebop
style of drumming but she has expanded her styles and her thinking since being
at Berklee. She is like a sponge. She takes in everything I show her deeply and is
so eager to learn and grasp everything possible. I have watched her grow over
the years and am quite impressed with her abilities. She has strong technique
and coordination. I feel she is deserving and represents a new generation of
young female drummers that are proving they can stand next to all the guys toe
to toe. I strongly feel she represents equality and balance in music and life,
because she is a serious musician with a lot of talent.”

Terri Lyne Carrington (Grammy Winner/Berklee Professor)


“She is not only a fantastic jazz/fusion/pop drummer, but she is a truly sincere, honest, hard-working wonderful person with a beautiful smile always.”

Tiger Okoshi (Berklee Professor)