MP3 Brian Tairaku Ritchie - Ryoanji
Japanese bamboo flute ethereal jazz improvisation
10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: World Fusion, ROCK: Acoustic
Brian Ritchie came to prominence in the field of music in 1982 with his band Violent Femmes. Brian started the band to explore the possibilities of acoustic instrumentation playing rock, jazz, blues, country and folk music with a strong improvisational element. The Femmes have played more than 2000 concerts in over 30 different countries around the world. Some highlights include sold out performances at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, three hundred thousand people at Woodstock ’94 and the northernmost rock concert in history at the magnetic north pole. They have numerous gold and platinum records. Brian’s main instrument in the band is acoustic bass, but as an insatiable multi-instrumentalist he has performed or recorded on over 40 instruments.
Brian started playing the Shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo Flute) in 1996 as part of his never-ending search for new musical challenges. He was also attracted to the instrument because of his Buddhist background. Brian studied in New York City with James Nyoraku Schlefer for seven years, which culminated in receiving a Jun Shihan teaching license in March 2003. He received his professional name “Tairaku” from Schlefer, Yoshio Kurahashi and Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin. Brian played only the traditional Jin Nyodo repertoire up to this point, but after receiving his license started to investigate the possibilities of shakuhachi in jazz, rock and world music. To this end he started a series of bands and recordings with the Shakuhachi Club. There are four Shakuhachi Clubs at this point, New York City, Milwaukee, Reykjavik, and San Francisco. “Brian Ritchie: Shakuhachi Club NYC” was released by Weed Records in 2004 to critical acclaim and strong sales. Tairaku also has a honkyoku CD “Purple Field”. Another, Shakuhachi Club Milwaukee CD “Ryoanji” has been released in 2006. It features Japanese music from the 6th to the 21st centuries combined with improvisation.
In addition to his international activities as a shakuhachi performer, Tairaku teaches at his Tairaku An dojo in Milwaukee and is one of the administrators for the World Shakuhachi Forum at https://www.tradebit.com. He was jazz/improvisation instructor at the 2006 European Shakuhachi Summer School at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.