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Grand master of Japanese bamboo flute to perform

by Jeanne Baron

Nov. 10, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Michael Chikuzen Gould.
Michael "Chikuzen" Gould
KALAMAZOO--A grand master of the shakuhachi, or Japanese bamboo flute, will give a concert and speak about the ancient instrument at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in the Dalton Center Lecture Hall on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Michael "Chikuzen" Gould is one of the world's foremost performers of the shakuhachi, which has been played in Japan since the seventh century. He studied in Japan for 15 years under renowned masters Yokoyama Katsuya and Taniguchi Yoshinobu, earning the title of Dai-Shihan or Grand Master in 1995--one of only about a half dozen non-native Japanese ever to do so. He has toured extensively in the United States and Japan and has produced several CDs and instructional books for teaching shakuhachi. On his latest CD, he is accompanied by Buddhist Shomyo chanting.

Gould's performance will include ancient honkyoku, which are traditional pieces associated with Zen Buddhism, as well as modern music for the shakuhachi. Following the concert, he will speak about the traditional instrument and its relationship to Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism.

Gould's WMU performance is being sponsored by WMU's Soga Japan Center and School of Music, and the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music. For more information, contact Jeffrey Angles, Soga Japan Center director, at or (269) 387-3044.