April Japan Study Club to feature koto musician Yukiko Matsuyama, Apr 5, 6:30PM

Nibei Koto Matsuyama left and Yangin Lamu

Koto artist Yukiko Matsuyama (right) and Yangin Lamu who contributed to album “Miho: Journey to the Mountain” receive the Grammy Award trophy on behalf of the composer of the album on Feb. 13. (Source: Associated Press)

Japan Study Club: Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 PM

Koto: Music bridges ears and cultures

Lecture by Yukiko Matsuyama, contributed koto musician to the Grammy Awarded “Miho: Journey to the Mountain” album

The April Japan Study Club on April 5 will feature Ms. Yukiko Matsuyama, Los Angeles-based koto artist. On Feb 13, Ms. Matsuyama appeared at the Grammy Award ceremony to receive the trophy on behalf of Paul Winter Consort, the winner of the best new age album 2010.

Ms. Matsuyama will lecture and demonstrate the traditional and contemporary arrangement of koto music. She will also disclose the behind scene story of the recording of “Miho.”

For reservation, call Nibei Foundation at (310) 479-6101 ext 134 or email japanstudies@nibei.org.

Admission including dinner is $10 per person. Reception and dinner at 6:30 pm and followed by lecture and presentation at 7:30 pm.

The Ninei Foundation is located at Terasaki Foundation Laboratory Building, 11570 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

In April 2010, Ms. Matsuyama recorded with Paul Winter Consort for “Miho: Journey to the Mountain” at the Miho Museum in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

The Consort includes Paul Winter, soprano sax; Arto Tuncboyaciyan , vocals and sazabo; Paul McCandless, woodwinds; Steve Gorn, bansuri; Eugene Friesen, cello; Glen Velez, percussion; Don Grusin, keyboard; Dhruba Ghosh, sarangi; Yukiko Matsuyama, koto; the Shumei Taiko Ensemble; Yangjin Lamu, voice; Tim Brumfield, organ; Café, percussion; Jordan Rudess, keyboard; Eriko Koide, carillon; The Shumei Chorus, conducted by Hiroko Matsui.

Yukiko Matsuyama bridges eras and cultures. Her compositions for koto and western instruments delve into a joyous and celebrative blend of world and pop music. She delivers the sounds of the ancient 7th century instrument with authority and grace while managing to infuse elements of jazz, pop, new age, and world music into her mesmerizing compositions.

Born in Osaka, Japan, Ms. Matsuyama was classically trained at the Ikuta School of Koto from age 9. She received her professional certification and teaching credential from the Ikuta School of Koto in 1986.

In 1993 Matsuyama came to Los Angeles and began composing original music, blending the traditional sound of the koto with contemporary music. The results are a unique combination of jazz, new age, pop, and world music.

Beside “Miho,” she also recorded a video with Billy Mitchell, contributed to the soundtrack for a project by filmmaker Paul Bickel, and worked on a project with Jonathan Moffett.

She has also performed with a diverse array of artists including Munyungo Jackson, John York, Rei Aoo Dance Planet, Hirokazu Kosaka, Tadashi Namba, James Gadson, Tom Kurai, Hirotaka Ogawa, Diana Dentino, Koji Nakamura, Mike Bennett & Reed Gratz.