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Music for Japanese Shakuhachi at New Paltz

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11/01/2001

NEW PALTZ -- On Tuesday, November 6, 2001, the Department of Music at SUNY New Paltz welcomes James Nyoraku Schlefer, master of the Japanese bamboo flute known as the shakuhachi. Schefler will perform a concert of traditional Japanese music at 8:00 PM at McKenna Theatre. Tickets are available at the door for the following prices: $5 adults, $4 senior citizens, and $3 students.

Image available at www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/shakuhachi.htmlThe shakuhachi has captivated the minds and hearts of listeners for centuries. Remarkably simple in design, it takes years to master. The sound is at once sensual and spiritual, capable of great emotional depth. The traditional music for shakuhachi, has been the music of Zen meditation for over 1,000 years and is said to express the original voice of the bamboo.

Called "A Master of the Shakuhachi" by The New York Times, James Nyoraku Schlefer received the Jun-Shi-Han teaching license and the Shi-Han Master's Certificate from Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin. In Japan he has worked with Aoki Reibo, Yokoyama Katsuya, Yoshio Kurahashi, and Mitsuhashi Kifu. Mr. Schlefer performs frequently in the Northeast, and has appeared as a soloist in Japan, Canada, France, and in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington D.C. His first solo album, Wind Heart, was aboard the Russian Space Station MIR for over one year, and his second album, Solstice Spirit, was released in October, 1998. His music was recently featured on NPR's All Things Considered.

Nyoraku began his musical career as a Western flutist and continues to perform on this instrument. He holds a Master's degree in music history from Queens College and lectures on music in the CUNY system. Nyoraku has composed several works for solo shakuhachi and shakuhachi ensemble and was recently commissioned by Dancing in the Streets for a new work for shakuhachi with dancers. His annual Winter Solstice concerts have become a seasonal highlight of New York's musical life. Nyoraku Sensei is head of the Kyo-Shin-An teaching studio in New York City.

A picture of Mr. Schlefer can be viewed or downloaded from www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/shakuhachi.html. Information on upcoming arts events at SUNY New Paltz is available on the Web at www.newpaltz.edu/artsnews or by calling 845-257-3872.

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