Northfield, Minnesota 55057

Kyokuichi Kai, Yoko Hiraoka and David Wheeler, three of the most outstanding senior performers of Japanese music, will give a concert titled ?Sankyoku?The Splendor of Traditional Japanese Ensemble Music? at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, in the Carleton College Concert Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Sankyoku music involves a trio made up of a koto, a large wooden string instrument, shamisen, a three-string banjo-like instrument, and the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute. It traces its roots back to the early 17th century, when the combination of the koto, shamisen and the kokyu, played with a bow on strings, became popular. In the 19th century the shakuhachi replaced the kokyu, and the Sankyoku trio as it is known today was born. Kai, Hiraoka and Wheeler will incorporate the kokyu, the Heike biwa, similar to a lute, and vocal accompaniment into their performance, which will draw from many different genres of traditional Japanese music.

Kai is a highly accomplished performer of the shamisen, koto, kokyu and biwa. A resident of Osaka, Japan, he has been performing professionally for three decades. He has studied the Chikuzen biwa with Kyokko Suga and regularly accompanies her on tours abroad. He studied the shamisen with National Living Treasure Seikin Tomiyama and kokyu with Mitsue Yokoi. Since 1989 Kai has toured extensively in Japan and abroad, including performances in Holland, Germany, Australia, Taiwan and France.

Hiraoka is a senior master performer of koto, shamisen and Juita voice. Her professional performance career began in Kyoto, Japan, and spans nearly 30 years. Her repertoire includes classical as well as contemporary Japanese works. She has performed extensively across Japan, where she has been a member of numerous traditional music groups, and the United States, from colleges to major music festivals. Hiraoka has instructed the world music ensemble at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and currently teaches at Naropa University in Colorado.

Wheeler has played the shakuhachi since the late 1970s, when he studied with shakuhachi master Junsuke Kawase III. He received an M.A. in musicology from the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music in 1985 and has been performing, teaching and writing about the shakuhachi for more than two decades. Like Hiraoka, Wheeler plays both classical and contemporary Japanese music. Most recently, he was a visiting Japanese music lecturer and shakuhachi instructor at the College of Music at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he organized the World Shakuhachi Festial in 1998.

The Carleton College Concert Hall has limited disability accessibility. For more information or disability accommodations, call the Carleton music department at (507) 646-4347.

Added by carlmedr on March 28, 2005

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