Hiroshi Yamaguchi At the age of four he made his first debut in front of an audience and at the age of ten he performed as an all-out Tsugaru Shamisen performer. He studied Tsugaru Shamisen under the tutelage of Mr. Katsuhiro Chiba in Kuroishi City, Aomori prefecture, the place Tsugaru shamisen was originally developed. He also learned Nanbu Shamisen under Mr. Kikuo Natsuzaka of Oku-Nanbu Minyo. He learned Nagauta Shamisen from Mr. Hiroaki Kikuoka of Touon as well. He graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, with a graduate degree in Traditional Japanese Music.
His performances are not only Japanese music such as Nagauta, Kabuki and Japanese Dance performances, but he also collaborates with various art forms beyond Japanese music. He enjoys such opportunities, with his creativity expressed through the rich sounds and rhythms of Tsugaru shamisen.
While he collaborates flexibly with various cultures and different values in his unique style, he aims at conveying the image of the Tsugaru landscape and its fragrance in a classical style of performance. He also tries to integrate the modern-day performing techniques into the historically-inherited techniques and skills he learned from his teachers.
As a Tsugaru Shamisen artist, he has been performing not only in Japan but also in Asia, Oceania, Africa, North America and Europe in response to requests by Japanese Foreign Ministry and others. He entertains the audience with his witty talk and especially with the signature sound of the vibrant and sometimes delicate tone of Tsugaru Shamisen. He has also performed for various companies and institutions, TV and Radio programs, and participated in many CD productions and recordings.
His ensemble, “Shake Cha-z,” consists of Tsugaru Shamisen, Japanese Flute and Drums and participates in various tours both in and out of Japan.
He conducts master classes and workshops for students, teaches shamisen to people of various age groups, and makes efforts to foster younger musicians following the same path as his own.
Join us to learn about study abroad opportunities in Japan. There will be presentations from the Office of Study Abroad and the campus representatives for the Associated Kyoto Program and the International Christian University (Tokyo) Program, as well as a student-only panel with returnees who will share their experiences studying abroad in Japan.
The Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) will be hosting a demonstration of Chanoyu (茶の湯) by Professor Akira Takemoto from Whitman College this Friday (U.S. time)! Professor Akira Takemoto will give us a lecture at the Chikurakken (竹楽軒), a tearoom at Whitman College. During the lecture, he will also be showing us a demonstration. Following the lecture, there will be a Q&A session. This would be a great opportunity for you to learn about “Chanoyu“.
In this event, you can watch the live performances of koto (Japanese harp) and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). You can also learn a little about these instruments and the music and culture around them.
Kozue Matsumoto, a Japanese language assistant at the Oldenborg Center plays a koto. Also, Rachel Rudich, a instrumental faculty at Pomona College joins us as a guest artist to share her shakuhachi music with us!
AboutKozue Matsumoto 松元香壽恵: Born and raised in the Tohoku (東北) area in Japan and having lived in Tokyo as well, Kozue is now based in the Los Angeles area. She has played the koto since she was three years old under Ikuta-ryu (生田流) Miyagi-kai (宮城会) and holds a semi-master title (準師範). She has also played the shamisen and the shinobue since she was small.
Recently, she has contributed her koto sounds to 2020 Tokyo Olympics (postponed) as well as Ghost of Tsushima, a PS4 game released in 2020.
Other than these recent achievements, she has been collaborating with various musicians and movement, visual, installation, and other artists. Not only does she play traditional, contemporary, and experimental music, but she also improvises, composes, and creates mixed media arts.
Together with her creative works and inter-disciplinary collaborations with various artists, she has a strong interest in exploring the possibilities of bringing Japanese traditional sounds and performing arts beyond their conventional contexts.
She has performed at various projects and performances including MicroFest (Los Angeles CA), Lucas Artists Residency at Montalvo Arts Center (Saratoga, CA), Center for World Music (San Diego, CA), Desert X (Coachella Valley, CA), SASSAS (Los Angeles, CA), Improvisation Summit of Portland (Portland, OR), Time-Based Art Festival (Portland, OR), Washington Street Art Center (Boston, MA), The Fuse Factory Electronic and Digital Arts Lab (Columbus, OH), Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (Vancouver, Canada), and Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada).
While being a Japanese music ensemble instructor at California Institute of the Arts, she has been invited by universities, colleges, and ensembles throughout the USA for lectures, master classes and workshops both in person and online. She studied improvisation, composition, and music technology with Susan Allen, Vinny Golia, Eyvind Kang, and Ajay Kapur, and graduated with the Performer-Composer MFA from California Institute of the Arts.
About Rachel Rudich: Rachel Rudich is an internationally known flutist specializing in contemporary music, repertoire for flute and electronics, flutist as dancer, and traditional and improvised music for shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute. She has premiered hundreds of new works and has performed extensively throughout the world as a soloist. Ms. Rudich has received numerous recording grants and can be heard on over 25 CDs on 15 labels. She received her DMA from the Manhattan School of Music, and her MA degree in Dance from University of California and is currently Professor of Flute at California Institute of the Arts, and Lecturer at Pomona College.
As a student of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, Ms. Rudich has worked with Masakazu Yoshizawa (Los Angeles), Bill Shozan Schultz (Los Angeles), Kaoru Kakizakai (Tokyo), Christopher Yohemei Blasdel (Tokyo), Yodo Kurahashi (Kyoto), and Riley Lee (Australia). She attended and performed at the World Shakuhachi Festivals in Sydney, Australia in 2008, Kyoto in 2012, and London in 2018, as well as the Rockies Shakuhachi Camp in Boulder, Colorado in 2009 through 2011, 2013 and 2017. After a performance at REDCAT, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times said, “the extended contributions by Rachel Rudich on shakuhachi were at once inventive and atmospheric.” Ms. Rudich spent two months in Japan during the spring of 2012 for extensive study of and performances on the shakuhachi, and was most recently in Japan in 2018 for further research, study, and performing a solo concert in Tokyo of pieces for shakuhachi and electronics by American composers. Ms. Rudich leads a beginning shakuhachi class and the Japan Ensemble at CalArts and teaches private students in the Los Angeles area, and remotely around the world. More information can be found at www.rachelrudich.com.