California Institute of the Art will present Japanese Music and Demonstration Series on Monday, October 19 at 6:00pm via Zoom.
Oct. 19 program will feature Hiroshi Yamaguchi, a Tsugaru Shamisen player in Tokyo, Japan.
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山口ひろし: Hiroshi Yamaguchi began his musical studies in his childhood under the influence of his father Koji, Tsugaru Shamisen artist.
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.
He keeps practicing daily to reach yet another higher stage in order to show such an exquisite form of art.