Posts Tagged ‘nagauta’

Shamisen performace Sunday Oct 18

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

My good friend Kineya Yasoyo has organized a shamisen performance fundraiser for Nichiren Temple in downtown Los Angeles. I will be performing two Kabuki pieces, as well as the newest version of my solo taiko piece, Err. Included with the ticket price, all guests will be served Japanese tea as well. There will be Japanese food for purchase too! If you’re in the area, please come! Tickets are $35 at the door.

Nichiren Temple
2801 E 4th St
Los Angeles CA

Hanabishi article – Hello from LA, June 09

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

My shamisen guild, Kineyakatsu, publishes a quarterly magazine for its members called Hanabishi.  The most recent edition includes an article I wrote after receiving my stage name.  Below is the scanned Japanese version and an English translation.  The photo is me with the head of the guild, Kineya Katsusaburo VII.



Natori: What’s in a name?

Saturday, October 4th, 2008
Kris w/ Iemoto Katsaburo and teacher, Katsuyukie Sensei

Kris w/ Iemoto Katsusaburo and teacher, Katsuyukie Sensei

Maz and I have finished the bulk of our lessons here in Japan. Negotiating the etiquette of the Japanese traditional music world and living up to my teacher’s high expectations is always a bit nerve wracking. But this time in Japan has been particularly useful and a major step for me as a player.

This has to be the most work I’ve ever done for a single piece of music. But it’s looking like we’ll be ready for Yobu on November 8!

First a word on Maz…

Lost in Translation

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Anyone ever see that movie?  Pretty fun movie if you’ve ever lived in Tokyo.  I’m not really that lost in translation, but it’s always a challenge being in Japan.

I got here on Sunday and now it’s Wednesday evening in Japan.  We’re leaving tomorrow already!  Crazy…

I miss Japan!  Wish I could be here longer, but it’s soooo expensive!  The food is damn good here as well… hard to go back to the Japanese food in LA…

I’m going to leave most of the posting for Kris to do since I’m basically here for him.  I came here to take a lesson from Kikuyu-sensei who has her natori in the taiko realm of nagauta.  I learned the piece  “Taiko No Kyoku” that we’re going to perform for On Ensemble ’08 : Yobu, but I don’t know the form very well, so I needed some guidance.  As you all know, Kris is getting his natori (stage name) for shamisen (Japanese banjo-type instrument), and is here to continue his studies.  We’re going to bring his sensei over for our concert and present this piece and his natori.  Please come support his cause.  This is a huge deal.

I watched Kris’ lesson with the iemoto (head teacher of his school).  A great man.  Here’s a pic of us after Kris’ lesson.

Check back for Kris’ update!

I caught up with some good friends on this trip too!  Thanks for coming out and seeing us/me!

On Ensemble International

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

While I’m here gigging with Hiroshima, Maz is in Mexico performing with Taikoproject and Kris is in Japan preparing for his natori debut at ON Ensemble ’08: YOBU. After Mexico Maz will join Kris in Japan for more preparation. We’re really proud of Kris as he accomplishes something only a few people outside of Japan have done. Receiving a professional stage name (natori) from a traditional school is no small matter and very rare in nagauta for someone outside of Japan. Here in Los Angeles there are several high quality Nihon Buyo (Japanese dance) schools, like the Azuma-ryu led by Madame Sumako Azuma, that have strong ties to their parent school in Japan and regularly see dancers receive their natori but there aren’t strong nagauta schools where someone can get high quality training in Los Angeles.

If you want a natori in nagauta you really have to go to Japan and make contacts there. That’s what Kenny Endo did, he spent ten years in Japan studying nagauta and receiving his natori and became the first non-Japanese national to receive his natori in nagauta percussion. Kris is going to receive his natori in nagauta shamisen and we don’t know if he’s the first but he will definitely be one of a very very few non-Japanese nationals to have done so.

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