John Kaizan Neptune brings to the shakuhachi a new and dynamic sound and feeling entirely his own. A California-born American, Neptune received his master’s certificate in the Tozan school of shakuhachi in 1977, at which time he was awarded the name Kaizan (Sea mountain). John is the author of the book ‘Shakuhachi’, and has performed and recorded in many countries around the world. His second album ‘Bamboo’ was named ‘Outstanding Record of the Year’ by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese Ministry of Education and the subsequent albums (24 to date) and his concerts throughout Japan, Asia, Australia, America, and Europe have made his original music, from traditional Japanese to contemporary jazz, widely known and loved by people of all ages.
John is acknowledged to be among the top masters of the instrument in Japan and now lives in Kamogawa, Chiba-ken where he continues to make, write for and experiment with the instrument he had adopted as his own.
Mizuno Kohmei is a shihan of the Chikumeisha group of Kinko Ryū and was born in Hirakata-shi, Osaka in 1945. He began studying the shakuhachi with Yamaguchi Goro in 1968 and obtained his shihan in 1980 and became Yamaguchi’s substitute teacher at the NHK Culture Centre. He has performed together with other players in many countries including Germany, France, the UK and the USA and has given numerous recitals at Izumi Hall in Tokyo as well as, since 1997, regular annual concerts in Kyoto in association with the groups ‘Nubata no Kai’ and ‘Kochi no Kai’. Since 2013, he has given annual lecture demonstration concerts at Kogakuin University and his solo recital at Kioi Concert Hall in Tokyo in 2017 was widely acclaimed. Mizuno Kohmei was also a guest teacher and performer at the World Shakuhachi Festival in London in 2018. He currently serves as the present head of the Chikumeisha group of Kinko Ryū and of the Kokubunji Sankyoku Society. He is also a board member of the Kinko Ryū Society and chair of the Japan Sankyoku Society 3rd administration board.
Helene Seiyu Codjo
Hélène Seiyu Codjo is a French flutist who started to learn shakuhachi with Daniel Seisoku Lifermann in Paris as a member of the French association ’La Voie du Bambou‘. In January 2013, she received her jun-shihan title and the name Seiyu 聖優 (Wisdom of Kindness) from Fukuda Teruhisa. In November 2015, she was awarded her shihan (master) license. Hélène lives in the Netherlands where she gives lessons and workshops on the shakuhachi in Nijmegen and Tilburg, as well as concerts throughout the country. She has also been active performing solo concerts and others with Japanese and/or Western musical instruments in various European countries. In 2018, she founded Duo Satsuzen with the flutist Catherine Balmer.
The spirituality of the shakuhachi is essential for her. She likes to play in Zen centers and for people with dementia and other mental illnesses to relieve the stress in these patients. Since 2016, she has been writing a blog about her experiences, as well as about the music and spirit of the Hijiri School 聖会.
As a composer, she released in 2020 her first CD “African Memories” with own compositions for solo shakuhachi exploring her African roots and connecting Japanese and African spiritualities.
Christophe Kazan Gaston
Christophe Kazan Gaston received his shihan from the Shin-Tozan Ryû school under the teaching of Sôzan Chiaki Kariya, the official representative of this school in France and in 2016, he received the name “Kazan” (歌山). The Tozan Ryu repertoire was composed in the 20th century, but Christophe also plays the older Kinko style associated with the Chikumeisha school, following the teaching of Gunnar Jinmei Linder. He is the contact person for the Chikumeisha French lesson center associated with this school. In this context, he is the main organizer of the workshop series in France with Gunnar Linder as the main teacher. He teaches in France and performs regularly with the sankyoku ensemble Gaden. Motivated by the use of the shakuhachi in other contexts, he also collaborates with artists from jazz, electronic and contemporary music as well as with dancers.
Antonio Enzan Olías
Antonio Enzan Olías has studied shakuhachi under a wide variety of masters including Tanaka Komei (Kinko Ryu Chikumeisha), Etsuzan Fujiyoshi (Fuke Shakuhachi) and contemporary and avant-garde music with Teruhisa Fukuda (Hijiri Kai), Kuniyoshi Sugawara, Shozan Tanabe and Katoh Hidekazu. In 2010, Etsuzan Fujiyoshi awarded him the professional name Saiho Enzan (西方炎山) and in 2014 Teruhisa Fukuda granted him his dai shihan license. He has performed in concerts and shakuhachi workshops throughout Europe and Japan and has given lectures at many universities in Spain on different aspects of shakuhachi. He released his first album in 2007 “Encuentros” and has collaborated on Eduardo Paniagua’s album “Cantigas de Nuestro Señor” and with Erwin Grafe on his: “Incrustable Songs”. He was invited to participate at the International Shakuhachi Festival in Prague in 2014 and to teach and perform at the ESS Summer School in Lisbon in 2019. Antonio has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the 1st Radio Bratislava Award “New Musics” (2004), second place at the Intermúsicas Contest (2005), winner of the Composition Contest 250 Years of the Foundation of Isla Cristina – Huelva (2006), winner of the World Music Competition of Madrid, in the soloist category (2007). He is the forerunner of the Japanese contemporary music duo Ito to Take “Bamboo and Strings” with Erwin Grafe and has collaborated with the koto teacher Junko Ihara, performing works by Tadao and Hikaru Sawai. He has also recently studied contemporary works composed by Teruhisa Fukuda.
Emmanuelle Rouaud is a flute player, shakuhachi performer and teacher. She discovered the shakuhachi in 2006 and was fascinated by the possibilities of tone colour and sounds and began exploring the instrument. Since 2013 Emmanuelle is studying the honkyoku and modern repertoire with Teruo Furuya, the director of the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshūkan (KSK) in Japan. Emmanuelle is also interested in traditional sankyoku ensemble playing and has received tuition from players like Gunnar Jinmei Linder and Keisuke Zenyoji among others. Her interest in developing new repertoire for shakuhachi led her to a collaboration with French composer Henri Algadafe and premiering I thought About Eva for shakuhachi and koto at the World Shakuhachi Festival in London in 2018. Currently they are working on a new composition for electric guitar, electronics and 2.4 shakuhachi. Emmanuelle performs shakuhachi music regularly, most recently with koto players Naoko Kikuchi and Gaho Takahashi, she also was one of the finalists of the honkyoku competition at the KSK’s 30th anniversary event in 2019 in Bisei, Japan. Emmanuelle Rouaud lives and works near Paris, France. There she co-organises the annual Teruo Furuya/Mizuka Onishi workshop in Paris, developing shakuhachi classes in CRC Montigny-le-Bretonneux as well as teaches the silver flute (CRR Versailles Grand Parc) and offers shakuhachi teaching through her collaboration with jiari maker Thorsten Knaub at shakuhachi-atelier.