Ritchie studied shakuhachi for seven years in New York City with
James Nyoraku Schlefer. Ritchie achieved the rank of Jun Shihan
(teaching license) in March of 2003. Along with the license he received
the professional name Tairaku which means Big
Music. Although he has been playing shakuhachi for a comparatively
short period of time, Brian has already released two CDs of
shakuhachi music, Purple Field (Honkyoku) and Shakuhachi
Club NYC (World Jazz).
Aside from his shakuhachi activities, Brian tours and records with
Violent Femmes, a band he started in 1981. The Femmes have played
in over 40 countries. Their accomplishments include sold out performances
at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Woodstock 94 and the
northernmost rock concert in history at the magnetic north pole.
They have numerous gold and platinum records to their name.