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Shinobue Intensive | Kaoru Watanabe

  • Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center 950 Saint Johns Place Brooklyn, NY, 11213 United States (map)

Shinobue Intensive

Who: instructor Kaoru Watanabe (bio below) 

When: August 24-26, 2018

Where: Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center (KWTC) in Brooklyn, New York

How much: $500 includes workshops, all meals and snacks, communal accommodations. Fee does not include transportation to and from KWTC.

Main topics are: composition, repertoire, ear training, practicing and studying tips, improvisation, embellishments, vibrato, phrasing, breathing techniques, ensemble work, rhythm, dynamic control. Introduction to various fue playing styles and other types of fue.

This intensive is for experienced fue players, people who are beyond the "can-make-a-sound" phase and have actual performing experience. Music will be sent to the participants to be learned beforehand so that they made be performed for and with each other during the intensive. 

Also, participants will be encouraged and given guidance in composing music both leading up to and during the intensive. These compositions will be sent to the other participants to be performed and workshopped in person.

There will be an online audition. Please send in an e-mail to and any recording of yourself playing (anything will work, whether a cell phone voice memo or video, an mp3, youtube video, etc.) by July 9th. Decisions will be made by July 11th. 

Instructor bio:
Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn-based composer and musician who specializes in the Japanese shinobue flutes and taiko drums. Watanabe creates music that is at once personal, philosophical, meditative and virtuosic, that reflects his extensive background in Japanese traditional music, American jazz and his decades-long devotion to cross-cultural musical collaboration.

Watanabe was a performer and artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Japanese taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo for close to a decade and who, as a soloist, has worked with such artists as National Living Treasure Bando Tamasaburo, jazz pianist Jason Moran, So Percussion and was a featured guest on Yo-Yo Ma and the Silkroad Ensemble's Grammy Award-winning album Sing Me Home. In February 2018, Watanabe debuted as an orchestral soloist and composer with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. He is also the featured taiko drummer and a musical advisor for the recent Wes Anderson film, Isle of Dogs.

Watanabe has performed his compositions at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center and Kabukiza, has performed in all 47 prefectures in Japan as well as across the North, Central and South Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.

As a passionate educator, Watanabe has taught courses at Princeton and Wesleyan Universities, has been a faculty member at Tanglewood Music Festival and the Silk Road Project's Global Musician Workshop. Watanabe also has a studio in Brooklyn that holds regular classes as well as hosts workshops by international master musicians and dancers.

Earlier Event: August 19
Beginner Class