Shakuhachi Performance with James Nyoraku Schlefer, Sept. 26

  • When: September 26, 2015 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Where: Brooklyn Zen Center
  • Details:

    James Nyoraku Schlefer, Grandmaster of the Shakuhachi Benefit Performance for BZC

    Cost: $15 / Senior/Student Rate: $10

    Doors Open at 7pm.

    Online registration is closed; please pay at the door. Thank you!

    Join James Nyoraku Schlefer, Grandmaster of the Shakuhachi, and ​​his students ​as they present an evening of traditional Zen music for the shakuhachi. Listeners will have the opportunity to hear a variety of pieces from several lineages in an intimate, focused environment.​ All proceeds from this event will be donated to the Brooklyn Zen Center.​

    The Shakuhachi is an end-blown bamboo flute that has been played in Japan for over 1200 years. It is the only instrument associated with the practice of Zen Buddhism, and was performed during religious rituals by priests of the Fuke sect. During the Edo Period (1600-1868), Shakuhachi-playing monks known as Komusô (“Priest of Nothingness”) wandered throughout Japan playing the shakuhachi in exchange for food or alms. They would pass from temple to temple building their repertoire. Honkyoku (original pieces) were originally not intended for public performance, but rather to awaken the mind of the performer to a higher state of consciousness.

    James Nyoraku Schlefer is a Grand Master of the shakuhachi and one of only a handful of non-Japanese artists to have achieved this rank. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood and BAM, as well as multiple venues across the country and in Japan, Indonesia, Brazil and Europe. Mr. Schlefer first encountered the shakuhachi in 1979, while working towards a career as a flute player and pursuing an advanced degree in musicology at CUNY (Queens College.) Today, he is considered by his colleagues to be one of most influential Western practitioners of this distinctive art form. Mr. Schlefer is the Artistic Director of Kyo-Shin-An Arts and the curator for the Japanese music series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in NYC. He teaches shakuhachi at Columbia University, a broad spectrum of Western and World music courses at New York City Technical College (CUNY), and performs and lectures at colleges and universities throughout the United States.