Old First Concerts
SUNDAY, MARCH 10, 2013 AT 4:00PM

Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto with Murasaki Ensemble & guests
Japanese Hogaku: New sounds from America and Japan
Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto, koto & bass koto; Masahiro Nitta, tsugaru shamisen; Kyle Abbott, tsugaru shamisen; Michael Sasaki, guitar; Karl Young, shakuhachi; Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, koto
photo, left: Murasaki Ensemble; right: Masahiro Nitta

A selection of contemporary to modern works featuring Japanese instruments, shamisen, koto and shakuhachi, composed by the featured artists.

The Murasaki Ensemble is a musical experience of sounds unlike any other—elements of traditional Far Eastern subtleties, Near Eastern, and Latin American rhythms with improvisational jazz converging, producing a sound that is extremely vibrant and innovative yet still familiar. For this performance, they are joined by Masahiro Nitta, who has been dubbed “the greatest shamisen player in the world.” Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido in 1984, Masahiro Nitta started to play tsugaru shamisen at the age of fourteen from the influence of his father, Hiroshi Nitta. Masahiro learned how to play shamisen in an unbelievably short time of only seven months. Soon after, he won a championship at the junior high and high school division in nationwide contests. Since then, Masahiro dominated national tsugaru shamisen tournaments in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

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