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Chika Inoue, has been praised for her beautiful tone, acute sensitivity and virtuosic technique. She has received numerous performance awards in competitions, lavishing praise as a soloist and chamber musician. Chika has performed internationally at major venues, appearing as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Germany, Italy, China, and Japan.

Chika transcribes and performs works beyond the standard classical repertoire, performing works of violin, clarinet, oboe, flute, voice and piano, expanding the limits of the saxophone technique and artistry.

A native of Osaka, Japan, Chika spent most of her youth in Frankfurt, Germany and San Diego, California.

She is currently on faculty at Los Angeles City College as well as the California State University, Dominguez Hills. 

Chika is endorsed by Vandoren, Selmer, Key Leaves, and LeFreque.

In this interview, we talked about: 

  • How to shape your sound to create color/timbre
  • Why singing her piano parts helped her overall musicality
  • Her #1 tips for saxophone students of all ages
  • The difference between projecting your sound for classical performances vs. popular music
  • The benefits and problems of having perfect pitch
  • Repertoire recommendations
  • The benefits of transcribing classical music from other instruments
  • And more

“You can do so much with just 1 tone”

Resources mentioned:

Ryō Noda is a Japanese composer and musician who has written several works for classical saxophone.

48 Ferling Etudes – in my Amazon store

LeFreque – sound bridge accessory for brass and woodwinds

Don Trimble –Orange Coast Sax Shop.   Repairs and sound screws

Matt Lee-West Coast Sax – mouthpieces, sound screws and more

Nick Mainella’s new book, 50 Perpetual Motion Exercises


You can read more about Chika on her site here: 


Instagram: @ChikaSax


Check out the video interview below (and please share 😊)