Kazunori Kumagai was born in Sendai City, Japan. He started tap dancing at the age of 15 and came to NY at the age of 19. He trained in FUNK UNIVERSITY, the training workshop for the big hit Broadway musical Bring in da' Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. He studied with Ted Levy, Buster Brown, Gregory Hines, Barbara Duffy, and Derick K. Grant.Since then, he has performed in many New York City downtown clubs, such as The Knitting Factory, Tonic, and just recently he performed his solo show at the Blue Note NY.
Since 2002, he performed in Tony Waag’s Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival and was dubbed by The Village Voice as the "Japanese Gregory Hines." In 2006, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." In 2014, He received the Flo-Bert Award, a prestigious award that honors tap dancers for outstanding achievements.
After Kazu went back to Japan in 2002, he made numerous solo appearances all over the country and collaborated with many artists and musicians, and appeared in several television commercials, such as SONY CYBERSHOT. He also performed in a MIHARAYASUHIRO fashion show in Milan, Italy, where he succeeded in opening up a new field of the arts. In 2008, he opened his first tap dance studio--KAZ TAP STUDIO--in Japan, and has subsequently taught throughout Japan including in his hometown of Sendai City, site of severe damage in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Currently Kazu lives in Brooklyn, NY and tours all over the world. He just recently won the "Bessie Award 2016" as an "Outstanding Performer."
Kazu dedicates his passion and love for the art of tap dance to the great masters such as his mentor Buster Brown, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and others, as well as to the people of Sendai and the Tohoku region where his family and friends live.