For Immediate Release
Press contact:
James Nyoraku Schlefer (718) 499-7793
Photos, Audio and Interviews Available

Kyo Shin An Shakuhachi Dojo
James Nyoraku Schlefer, Dai Shi Han

44 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Fourth International Festival of Shakuhachi to take Place in
New York City, July 29-August 1, 2004

Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo, plus dozens of top performers and teachers from four continents will be featured in performances and workshops.

Four-day conference at NYU includes concerts, classes, lectures, workshops, panel discussions and seminars, on the music and history of the Japanese bamboo flute. Concerts will take place at 35 W. 4th St in the Eisner-Lubin Auditorium and Skirball Hall.
Festival web site is

APRIL 28, 2004, NEW YORK, NY - From July 29 to August 1, 2004, New York City will be the host of the Fourth International Shakuhachi Festival, a four-day marathon of events, expected to draw 500 shakuhachi players from around the world. This will be the largest gathering of Shakuhachi players in history! Participants (over 60 performers and lecturers) will include the Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo, as well as Kawase Junske, Mitsuhashi Kifu, Terue Furuya, Fujuwara Dozan, and John Kaizan Neptune. Top ranked New York area players include Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin, Ralph Samuelson, James Nyoraku Schlefer, and Marco Lienhardt. Previous international shakuhachi festivals were held in Tokyo (2002), Boulder CO (1998), and Bisei, Japan (1994).

A special aspect of this year's festival will be the panel discussion and concert devoted to women shakuhachi players. Long considered a man's instrument, this perception is rapidly changing and to discuss this change and its ramifications will be over a dozen female master players, composers, and scholars. There will also be a special panel discussion on shakuhachi construction and repair. Other workshops of note are "History of Kumoso," "Healing properties of shakuhachi," and "Spirituality of Shakuhachi Music." There will be concurrent classes, workshops, and lectures beginning at 9:00AM Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be a marketplace with shakuhachi makers and vendors, CD sales, music and books.

New York University will be the conference site, with on-going classes and performances in and around the Kimmel Center, 35 W.4th St, and concluding each evening with a concert open to the public. Tickets are $15 for events at Eisner-Lubin, and $20 for the final concert at Skirball. Tickets are available only at the door and will be on sale thirty minutes prior to each concert. There will be additional concerts taking place throughout each day for participants.

Thursday, July 29, 4:00PM Eisner-Lubin Auditorium, NYU
"Chirashi - Mixed Flavors of Shakuhachi" Over a dozen performances of traditional and modern Shakuhachi music.

Friday, July 30, 8:30PM Eisner-Lubin Auditorium, NYU
"Shakuhachi and Other Instruments" Both traditional chamber music (Sankyoku) solo Zen music (Honkyoku) and contemporary music (Shinkyoku)

Saturday, July 31, 8:00PM Eisner-Lubin Auditorium, NYU
"Women Shakuhachi Masters" Established performers, teachers and composers from Japan and the US in concert.

Sunday, August 1, 6:30PM Skirball Hall, NYU FINAL CONCERTS
6:30-8:30 Concert of modern music for shakuhachi featuring John Kaizan Neptune, Akikazu Nakamura, James Nyoraku Schlefer, Masayuki Koga, Fujiwara Dozan, and Kurahashi Yoshio.

8:30-10:30 Concert of solo Honkyoku featuring Living National Treasure Aoki Reibo, Furuya Teruo, Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin, Ralph Samuelson, Mitsuhashi Kifu.


The traditional Japanese bamboo flute known as the shakuhachi, has been played in Japan for over 1,000 years and has gained tremendous popularity in the West, particularly the US, since the 1970s. The end-blown bamboo flute is the only instrument associated with the practice of Zen Buddhism, and was originally 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 learning pieces that were played at the various temples. They sought to strike a perfect sound that would enlighten the world.

For press information contact:
James Nyoraku Schlefer (718) 499-7793
Festival Website is


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