Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” Performed With a Traditional Japanese Bamboo Flute and Koto [♬]

Michael Jackson and producer Quincy Jones created some of the most timeless and iconic music of any generation, so it is understandable if someone was to guffaw at the idea of an acoustic cover version with traditional Japanese instruments sounding as good, but it does. This is one of the best cover tracks I have ever heard.

Professional shakuhachi (bamboo flute) player Yoshimi Tsujimoto is accompanied by two talented koto players, Erina Ito and Yuko Watanabe on the 17-string koto, for a truly unique rendition of Michael Jackson’s 1987 classic Smooth Criminal, with a traditional Japanese flair:

SHAKUHACHI Yoshimi Tsujimoto / KOTO Erina Ito / JUSHICHIGEN Yuko Watanabe

This isn’t Yoshimi’s first time performing with Erina—in fact, they actually play together as a pair in a group called 523 ~Koibumi~, which they formed during their university days.

523 Koibumi

For comparison, here is the original music video for Smooth Criminal (1987):

~ by Fionnlagh on November 5, 2015.

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