After morning group practice, we all go off in small groups during break-out sessions, and learn our chosen pieces. For these sessions, you will have several options to choose from, in terms of pieces and/or teachers with whom you prefer to be with for that session.
Riley Lee began the shakuhachi in Japan in 1970, where he lived for over eight years. His studies there included such peculiar methods as practicing barefoot in the snow, blowing his flute under waterfalls and running marathons. His shakuhachi teachers were Chikuho Sakai II and Yokoyama Katsuya. He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.
He performs extensively worldwide as a soloist and in collaboration with other musicians, notably Australian harpist Marshall McGuire, Hawai’i guitarist Jeff Peterson and TaikOz. Ian Cleworth and Riley co-founded the taiko group TaikOz in 1997. Over fifty of Riley’s recordings have been released on international labels.The Grand Master - Riley Lee - www.rileylee.net
Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Japan’s Living National Treasure Goro Yamaguchi and continued with the master until his death in 1999. In 1982, Blasdel received his MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and was honored with the professional name “Yohmei” from Yamaguchi in 1984—the first of only two non-Japanese accredited by Yamaguchi. Presently, Blasdel performs around the world and has taught or lectured at such prestigious institutions as Earlham College (Indiana), Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), University of Washington (Seattle), Charles University (Prague) and many others.The Master - Christopher Yohmei Blasdel - www.yohmei.com
Born in Yokohama, Japan, Matama started playing Shakuhachi at the age 17. After graduating from Hosei University with a degree in History, he began studying shakuhachi seriously with Yokoyama Katsuya for over the last 30 years. In 1972-73 he successfully passed the NHK audition and graduated from the NHK Special School of Traditional Japanese Music. Since then Matama has participated in several international tours to Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and the U.S. with Yokoyama and other top Japanese musical groups. He served as one of executive members of the ground-breaking "International Shakuhachi Music Festival in Bisei" in 1994 both as a planner, manager, as well as a player. He is an exectutive director of the Yokohama Chikushin Kai.The Master - Matama Kazushi - www.komuso.com
Robert Herr first studied the shakuhachi, between 1976 and 1986, in Honolulu with John Kaizan Neptune and grand master Riley Lee. In Japan, he studied with grand master Yokoyama Katsuya and Teruo Furuya and a in 1989 and his Shihan license in 1997. He concentrates on the study of the Chikuho style of shakuhachi as epitomized by the traditional repertoire known as honkyoku. Herr has taught shakuhachi since 1983 and is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Music Department.The Master - Bob Herr - www.komuso.com
Steven Casano received a B.M. in piano from the Crane School of Music and Masters degrees in ethnomusicology and academic librarianship from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 1999, he was the recipient of the Japanese Ministry of Education scholarship where he studied shakuhachi with Ishikawa Toshimitsu and attended meetings of the Shakuhachi Kenkyuukai with Tsukitani Tsuneko at Osaka Gedai. In 2000, Steven was granted his Jun-shihan license from Yokoyama Katsuya and Ishikawa Toshimitsu and in 2001 his shakuhachi playing was featured on the soundtrack for the documentary, "Aloha Akebono." Steven's shakuhachi teachers in Hawaii have been Robert Herr and Riley Lee and he is currently on the piano faculty of the Punahou Music School.The Master - Steve Casano - www.komuso.com
Chris Molina is a doctoral student and graduate instructor in composition at UH Mānoa and a Graduate Fellow at the East-West Center. A native of Boston and graduate of the University of Michigan and Middlebury College, his work combines world instruments with classical — celebrating acoustic music, jazz and folk influences, as well as aesthetics relating to nature. Recent and ongoing collaborations include works for Chinese guzheng and erhu, Korean gayageum and ajaeng, and Japanese koto, shamisen and shakuhachi. His work Xiao Baicai, Big City for Chinese dizi and Western orchestra was premiered by the Shanghai Philharmonic in November. Chris is currently pursuing a performer’s license in shakuhachi as a student of Matama Kazushi and the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshūkan.The Master - Chris Molina