East Winds Ensemble will present a unique and exciting concert of Shakuhachi and Koto music that will take you on a journey into the soul of old and modern Japan with very soulful and passionate music interpreted by some of the best performers of Japanese music. East Winds Ensemble has infused a fresh breath of air into Japanese traditional music and their passionate and energizing performances have been acclaimed all over the world.
The East Winds Ensemble was formed in 1999 in New York City. The purpose of the group is to present concerts of traditional and modern music performed on Japanese traditional intruments, the shakuhachi and the koto. The members of the group are Marco Lienhard, Masayo Ishigure and Charles Tang. Performances have taken the group to Japan, Mexico, Europe and around the US. The members have performed in some of the world's most renowned halls such as Carnagie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, SUntory Hall in Tokyo and Osaka Festival Hall. Past concerts include Symphony Space in New York, Salamanca Hall in Gifu Japan, concert in Tokyo, Museum of Art of Gifu, Concert for World Music Institute in New York, U of Maryland, Gettysburg College, Wesleyan College, University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, University of Missouri, and St. Louis. EWE recently toured Brazil for the Japan Foundation. They perform in NYC regularly. Recording for Nintendo for a new game: "Red Steel" 1 and 2. Members also have recorded for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and other movies. They released some best selling CD of the Music of Miyazaki Hayao arranged for koto and shakuhachi. Marco Lienhard has also released a few solo CDs and the group is releasing a new CD in October 2012. Lienhard was an invited guest performer at many International Shakuhachi Festivals around the world. Lienhard gives master classes and concerts internationally - he was recently in Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, France and Russia.
For more information, go to marcolienhard.com or taikoza.com
The shakuhachi is an end blown bamboo flute with four holes in the front and one hole in the back. It was used as a form of Buddhist meditation. In the Meianji temple in Kyoto, monks used to play these pieces as part of their training. The monk's philosophy can be defined by the following words: "Ichion Joubutsu," which means "a single note to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood." It was later in court music ensemble as accompaniment to the koto and the shamisen (a three stringed banjo-like instrument). Over the years, its presence in popular music has incressed and it can now be heard in a wide range of genres. It is believed that it came to Japan from China and perhaps India along with Buddhism - it was then a six hole instrument.
Marco Lienhard has mastered the shakuhachi under masters Katsuya Yokoyama and Teruo Furuya. Mastered the Watazumi Dokyoku style, Kinko and modern style. He was a principle member of Ondekoza from 1981 - 1997 where he learned and mastered the Taiko drum, the fue and folk dances. He has perfomred in the world's most prestigious halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston Sympohony Hall, Suntory Hall and Osaka Festival Hall. Lienhard has done numerous recordings with Ondekoza and two critically acclaimed solo shakuhachi recordings. In 1995, Lienhard founded the group Taikoza (a New York based professional Taiko group) with which he has since toured Europe, the US and Mexico. M. Lienhard regularly performs in Japan as a guest artist. He recently performed in Tokyo to a sold out house with Kodo member Chieko Kojima. Marco Lienhard has appeared on many TV shows inclusing "Regis and Kathy Lee Show," the PBS special "A World of Performances," MTV, NBC's 1998 Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Lienhard has recorded music for movies and documentaries and was the featured shakuhachi player in the American premiere of "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center. Performed in Miyazaki Japan for Carnegie Hall's children program. Recently appeared on ESPN for the Sumo tournament where he was a featured performer. Performed for the Diesel fashion show at Hammerstein Ballroom. He has appeared on many Japanese TV programs as well as TV programs around the world. released.
Masayo Ishigure (koto, taiko) plays the Japanese koto in traditional and modern styles. Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. In 1986 she became a special research student at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music, ultimately joining a small group of virtuoso disciples of Tadao and Kazue Sawai. In 1988 Ms. Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music at Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. Masayo Ishigure now performs at private events, festivals, concert venues, and on CDs and television.