Friday, January 25, 2013

The Phoenix Shakuhachi Friends have a new logo!

Phoenix Shakuhachi Friends Logo tiny


We have a new logo that mixes the flames of the Phoenix bird's wings and a shakuhachi.  

February 2nd Shakuhachi Gathering Scottsdale AZ.

FShakuhachi fluteor those of you who in the Phoenix Arizona area come to the monthly gathering for the Phoenix Shakuhachi Friends group. We have a fun mix of basic instruction, Q&A and a bit of performance. Everyone welcome, all levels of players even if you just want to come by and watch. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013 from 10:00am until 12:00pm at the Scottsdale Neighborhood Arts Place – “SNAP”


For more info check out http://phoenixazshakuhachi.comor contact me directly.    Everyone welcome! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Videos from 29 September 2012 Phoenix AZ Shakuhachi Friends Concert.

29 September 2012 Phoenix AZ Shakuhachi Friends Concert.

Kaoru Kakizakai playing Sanya at 

Kaoru Kakizakai playing Sagariha 

Kaoru Kakizakai playing Shingetsu (Heart Moon)

Kaoru Kakizakai playing Gekkou Routeki


Kaoru Kakizakai Performs Amazing Shakuhachi Concert!


DSC_0025  Beyond the amazing music, I really enjoyed seeing the faces of the audience. I had set up my video camera and was seated off to the side. From my position, it was easy to see the audience's faces. We had a large number of people who'd never heard the shakuhachi before. There was also about half-dozen shakuhachi players in the crowd. The faces went from almost jaw dropping awe and steady fixed gazes to those that had a child-like  glow to their face.
We had a nice turnout and after the concert, Kakizakai hung out and answered questions.

DSC_0061 (2)
Kakizakai did get to be a tourist while he was here in the Phoenix area. Barbara showed him around and he even met some of the locals.
If you like the sound of the shakuhachi or are just interested in it please check out our web site for more information. We have monthly gatherings where everyone is welcome even if you've never seen a shakuhachi, come on out.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Master Shakuhachi Flute Player Kaoru Kakizakai to Give Concert Sept. 29th.

kakizahai 2 Internationally recognized Japanese shakuhachi flute master Kaoru Kakizakai will be performing a concert of solo works of secular and spiritual music that spans the centuries.

Saturday September 29th at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Ticket pricing: $15 and Students and children under 13 year of age $10.

At the Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Sanctuary
Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation
6400 W Del Rio, Chandler, AZ 85226


Kakizakai was born in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture in 1959 and started playing the kena while he was in his teens. At 21 he started playing the shakuhachi in the Kinko style. His teacher recognized an unusual ability to play so he recommended him study with the master, Yokoyama Katsuya. He graduated from the NHK Traditional Music Conservatory and is the winner of the prestigious Kumamoto All Japan Hogaku competition. He has recorded with Yokoyama sensei on his CDs and videos and is a popular leader of shakuhachi workshops for the International Shakuhachi Training Center (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan) in Tokyo. He has performed extensively in America, Europe, Asia, and Australia and is a faculty member of the Boulder Colorado summer intensive camps as well as the Australian Shakuhachi Festivals. Currently he is research fellow at the Tokyo College of Music, full time instructor for the International Shakuhachi Kenshukan and NHK Culture Centre and President of the International Shakuhachi Kenshu-kan Chichibu School and Higashi Yamato School.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Alcvin Ramos’s Web Site and Video!


Check out Alcvin Ramos’s web site. It’s wonderfully done and has a lot of info there.

From His Biography

Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos lives a life guided by shakuhachi. If it were possible to hear the breathing of the cosmos; it would probably sound like the shakuhachi of Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos; simple, complex, intense, deep; his music is a visceral adventure of the soul, rich in heart and wondrous vibratory realizations. His flute sings to us everywhere the shakuhachi has been, concert halls, to caves, castles to campfires, ancient temples to living rooms; the summit of mountains to deep in the rainforests.

Alcvin was born in Japan to Filipino parents, attended school in the States, and now lives in the rainforests of BC, Canada. He is Canada’s leading teacher of the shakuhachi, attaining the rare level of Dai Shihan (grandmaster). He practices the traditional ways but enjoys exploring sonic worlds of other traditions and beyond. In high school, Alcvin first heard the sound of the horizontal Japanese bamboo flute (yokobue) in an Akira Kurosawa film called RAN, played by master Hiroyuki Koinuma and was deeply inspired to study shakuhachi. After studying Eastern Religions and Philosophy in University Alcvin returned to Japan to study shakuhachi for serveral years. Through his study of the shakuhachi in Japan, Alcvin has had the opportunity to travel through Asia, Australia, Europe, Canada and America learning about various cultures and arts. The shakuhachi continues to lead him to more adventures to fascinating and beautiful places and people through the playing and creation of music.

Alcvin is one of the foremost teachers and performers of shakuhachi in North America. He was the first non-Japanese to win a prize in the all-Japan Shakuhachi competition. In 2001, he received his shihan (masters) license from one of the greatest shakuhachi masters in history, Katsuya Yokoyama and one of his most exceptional students, Kaoru Kakizakai. In November of 2008, Alcvin received his Dai Shihan (grand master) license along with a new name, “Ryuzen” (Dragon Meditation) from another one of Japan’s greatest players and teachers, Yoshinobu Taniguchi. Previously known as Alcvin “Takegawa” Ramos, Ramos replaced “Takegawa” with “Ryuzen” to embrace the new stage of his development. Ramos is the first Canadian and first one of Filipino descent, and one of only a handful of non-Japanese, to receive this esteemed honour. Alcvin has also studied jinashi shakuhachi playing intensively with Atsuya Okuda of the Zensabo and shakuhachi construction techniques with Shugetsu Yamaguchi, Murai Eigoro, and John Kaizan Neptune.

Alcvin has taught and performed all over North America, Europe, and Japan and pursues an active solo as well as collaborative career and has played with many distinguished artists such as John McLaughlin, Bill Laswell, Toshinori Kondo, Hun Huur Tuu Mongolian Throat Singers, Kazutoki Umezu, Celso Machado, Joseph “Pepe” Danza, Uzume Taiko, Ma Jie, Mariano Gonzales, Danny Kalanduyan and has opened for Anoushka Shankar and the Yoshida Brothers. Recent bands he has played in: Dharmakasa, Isshin Denshin, Densabi, Maru, Grooved Whale Project, Haagen, and is presently leading the Samaya Ensemble. A composer and multi-instrumentalist, Ramos explores playing with different musical traditions from around the world as well as new ways of playing traditional instruments and combining them with synthesized and electronic music.

Ramos is also a craftsman who produces finely crafted jinashi (hocchiku) zen flutes. With an intimate knowledge of the koten honkyoku (traditional solo Zen-inspired pieces) and the structure of the flute, each of Ramos’ flutes is made especially for honkyoku playing. Ramos believes that honkyoku expresses and utilizes the total spirit-sound of the shakuhachi. Every few years, Ramos takes his shakuhachi students to Japan where they harvest bamboo for making shakuhachi and to visit sacred places around the country in order to deepen their understanding of the instrument. Ramos lives in Canada, where he is the director of the Bamboo-In, a shakuhachi retreat centre on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

He also has a page with playing tips and instruction

A Beginners Guide to the Shakuhachi from Byron Kopman on Vimeo.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Taiko Experience 2012 with Fushicho Daiko Dojo at Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix AZ.

I just saw that the Japanese Friendship Garden (in Phoenix AZ) on March 24, 2012 has an event "Taiko Experience 2012" with Fushicho Daiko Dojo (including the opportunity to learn taiko with special ticket purchase).
You can check out their web site at