A unique concert, “Roots and Rhythm” is set for Saturday, May 2, 2020, 7 pm at Gualala Arts’ Coleman Hall. The music event will feature the talents of Riley Lee, Maikaze Taiko and Karl Young. Advance tickets are $30, $5 for tickets purchased the day of the event. Tickets are available online at BrownPaperTickets, and at Gualala Arts.
Riley Lee began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971, studying was with Chikuho Sakai until 1980. He has been a student of Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984, and was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.
Riley Lee was born in Plainview, Texas in 1951, moving to Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1957, where, at age 13 he became the bass player of the award-winning rock band “The Workouts”. He and his family moved to Hawai’i in 1966. Lee first went to Japan in 1970, and began his shakuhachi studies when he returned in 1971.
In 1973, Riley became the first non-Japanese to play taiko (Japanese festival drums) professionally, by touring internationally as a full-time performer of taiko, yokobue (a high pitched bamboo transverse flute) and shakuhachi with Ondekoza (now called Kodo) a troupe of traditional Japanese musicians, performing with such groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and at venues such as the Kennedy Center, London’s Roundhouse Theatre, Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris, and Boston’s Symphony Hall.
Maikaze Daiko is a San Francisco-based performance ensemble and Taiko school. The name—Dancing Wind—reflects the group’s focus on innovative arrangements, precision taiko playing and creative use of movement and space. Their mission is to preserve and promote the rich cultural and artistic heritage of Japanese Taiko drumming through performing traditional and neo-traditional pieces that are rooted in Japanese culture, and by giving a voice to American Taiko in the 21st century with presentations of original works that incorporate elements of world music, contemporary choreography, and interdisciplinary imagination.
The group has been honored to perform at such events such as the 2018 International Taiko Festival, the San Francisco Chinese New Year’s Parade and the San Francisco World Percussion Arts Festival. The ensemble is comprised mostly of community members and is one of the few groups outside of Japan who have been bestowed the permission to perform in the regional style of Wajima Kiriko Daiko and also been given the permission to perform Amanojaku’s signature piece, “Bujin”. Since its founding, Maikaze Daiko has performed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and has produced numerous concerts including the bi-annual San Francisco World Percussion Arts Festival and the weekly production, “Maikaze Daiko & Friends” (2014-15) at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco.
Karl Young is a shakuhachi player with a wide range of experience playing solo, and in traditional Japanese classical and folk ensembles, as well as playing jazz and modern western music in a variety of contexts. He performs regularly in both solo performances and accompaniment for readings, traditional Japanese folk music and dance with the group Ensohza.
Tickets are $30 advance, $5 more day of performance, youth 7-17 free with adult.
All tickets available at BrownPaperTickets.com
or call 1-800-838-3006.
To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.