News Release:

Nagauta SHIKI NO KAI Concert

(Kabuki style music and dance)

Sunday, February 27, 2005 at 3 pm

Grand Master Katada Kisaku & Kineya Katsuyukie

“Nagauta SHIKI NO KAI Concert”

Inaugural concert of a newly formed nagauta music group
Grand Master Katada Kisaku, percussionist
Living National Treasure of Japan
Kineya Katsuyukie and Kineya Katsunobu
Japan’s leading professional women shamisen player and singer

Sunday, February 27, 2005 at 3 pm
at Torrance Culture Arts Center
James Armstrong Theater

A two hour program will open with an auspicious nagauta classic, “Tsurukame,” followed by the light touch nagauta of “Ayame Yukata,” stately “Matsu no Okina” featuring duo tsuzumi and fue, and the most favorite naguta number “Kanjincho.” Colorful dance number “Genroku Hanami Odori” will be performed by six members of Fujima Kansuma troupe.

Before and after the World War ll, Los Angeles was the hub of Japanese culture in the United States and Japanese music such as nagauta was enjoyed and being taught by many teachers. But those teachers dwindled as time went by and just In the past fifteen years three teachers have past away. The Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization had concern about the future of nagauta music in Los Angeles so last year the organization conducted a three day shamisen workshop at the Japanese American Cultural Community Center by inviting grand master Kineya Yakichi from Japan. It was a big success and those students who participated in the master class of this workshop got together and decided to form a nagauta group called Nagauta Shiki no Kai which consists of ten charter members.

This is the first time students from different teachers have come together and formed a performing group to give a concert. They invited Kineya Katsuyukie and Living National Treasure of Japan, Katada Kisaku to help them celebrate this special inaugural concert.

Charter members are:

  • Kineya Yasoyo (student of late master Kineya Yajyuro and a master of tea ceremony)
  • Kineya Kichikazu (student of late master Kineya Kichisaburo)
  • Kineya Katsuminori (student of late master Kichisaburo)
  • Kineya Rokkensho (student of Mme. Kineya Jyorokusho also a koto player)
  • Kineya Kichisae (student of late master Kichisaburo and student of Matsutoyo Sato)
  • Kineya Kichisaya (student of late master Kichisaburo and a Japanese dancer as Fujima Rieyuki)
  • Michiko Yoshino (student of Mme. Jyorokusho and Japanese dancer as Bando Hiromichiya)
  • David Okihiro (student of Lillian Nakano and Kineya Katsuyukie)
  • Kris Bergstrom (student of Katsuyukie and a member of taiko group Ensemble On)
  • Tina Fukuchi (student of late master Kichisaburo and Kineya Kichikazu)

Kineya Katsuyukie came to Los Angeles as a lead shamisen player on the occasion of “Katada-Kai of USA 20th Anniversary Concert” in 2003. She has the reputation of being the number one player among the professional women musicians in Japan. It was Japanese National Living Treasure, Katada Kisaku’s request that she come to perform in this concert. She was so impressive that this new group decided to invite her to get special training from her. She visited twice to give special workshops to this group to prepare for this concert. One of her workshops was funded by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission “Inter/Arts Program” which helps give opportunities to local artists to engage in artistic interaction with experienced international artists.

In addition to Grand Master Katada Kisaku percussion accompaniments are provided by Katada Kisaburo from Japan and Katada Kai of USA members led by Katada Kikusa and fue provided by Tosha Suiho of Japan.
Kineya Katsuyukie is bringing 10 musicians from Japan to join in this concert. There will be over 30 performers in this concert

This concert is presented by the Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization with support from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Alliance of California Traditional Artists.

For further information call JTPAO, Mikko Henson (310) 378-3550.