The Yaeyama Shima Uta (island song) traditional music of the Okinawan Islands are combined with a diverse range of influences by sanshin (three-stringed lute) player and vocalist Tetsuhiro Daiku. His 1993 debut album, Yunta and Jiraba, featured Japanese jazz saxophonist Kazutoki Umezu and drummer Samm Bennett, while his subsequent recordings have continued to blend Okinawan and Japanese traditions with jazz improvisation. Rootsworld described Daiku's music as a "wonderful mix of attitude and creativity," while, www.summit-okinawa.gr.jp claimed that he had "created a revolutionary sound." Nakagawa Takashi of Japanese rock group Soul Flower Union, proclaimed Daiku "one of the best singers in the world." Born on Ishigaki Island, southwest of the main Okinawan Island, Daiku moved to Naha, a port city on the main island, at the age of 19. Competing in folk music competitions, he won many prizes for his sanshin and fue (Okinawan flute) playing. After receiving a teaching license, he opened the first of three sanshin schools. In addition to recording as a soloist, and with his band the Tsundalers, Daiku has produced albums for Okinawan artists including Konees, a group featuring his wife, Naoki, and three of his students.