The Spring Japanese Music Festival at Haverford College is organized by Hank Glassman, Associate Professor of East Asian Studies and sponsored by the Department of East Asian Studies and the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities' Kessinger Family Fund for Asian Performing Arts.

The three-city American Tour of Shomyo no Kai—Voices of a Thousand Years is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York. This tour is funded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal year 2013; and a grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for the festival comes from the Asahi Shimbun Foundation.

Music & Conversation

James Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi Grand Master
Monday, January 27, 6:00—6:45 p.m.
Stokes Auditorium

Shomyo no Kai—Voices of a Thousand Years

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall

Tamagawa University Taiko Dance Group

Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:00—9:00 p.m.
Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall

Music & Conversation
James Nyoraku Schlefer, Shakuhachi Grand Master


Monday, January 27, 2014

6:00—6:45 p.m.
Stokes Auditorium, Haverford College

Free & Open to the Public
First in a series of three

Contact: hglassma@haverford.edu

James Nyoraku Schlefer is a leading performer and teacher of shakuhachi in New York City.

An ardent performer of traditional Sankyoku and Honkyoku music, Schlefer also performs modern music for the instrument and is an active composer. He has appeared at Lincoln Center; the Kennedy Center; Tanglewood; the Metropolitan, Brooklyn and Philadelphia Museums; and BAM.

The Shakuhachi is an end-blown bamboo flute that has been played in Japan for over 1200 years. It is the only instrument associated with the practice of Zen Buddhism, and was performed during religious rituals by priests of the Fuke sect. During the Edo Period (1600-1868), Shakuhachi-playing monks known as Komusô ("Priest of Nothingness") wandered throughout Japan playing the shakuhachi in exchange for food or alms. They would pass from temple to temple learning pieces that were played at the various temples, as each had developed its own music. Thus was the repertoire expanded and shared as they sought to strike a perfect sound that would enlighten the world.


Shomyo no Kai
Voices of a Thousand Years


Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

7:30 p.m.
Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall, Haverford College

Performance Free & Open to the Public
The second in a series of three

Contact: hglassma@haverford.edu

On Sunday, March 2, the glorious, reverberating voices of Buddhist priests in colorful robes will fill Marshall Auditorium.

One of the oldest living forms of vocal music, shomyo is believed to have originated in India before traveling along the Silk Road and eventually entering Japan in the 6th century, where it has been practiced ever since.

The critically acclaimed group Shomyo no Kai–Voices of a Thousand Years, comprising priests from the Shingon sect whose mission is to showcase the beauty of shomyo as an art form, will perform the traditional Rishu Zanmai.

Workshop with Shomyo no Kai–Voices of a Thousand Years

Monday, March 3, 2014, 10:30—11:30 a.m.
Whitehead Campus Center Room 313, Haverford College

This workshop, led by Shingon priests from the critically acclaimed group Shomyo no Kai–Voices of a Thousand Years, will introduce members of the community to the the liturgical piece sange.

Open to Tri-College students, staff, and faculty. Space is limited; please email hcah@haverford.edu by Friday, February 28th to reserve your spot.

This tour of Shomyo no Kai is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Tamagawa University Taiko Dance Group


Friday, April 4, 2014

7:00—9:00 p.m.
Marshall Auditorium, Roberts Hall, Haverford College

Free & Open to the Public
The final in a series of three

Contact: hglassma@haverford.edu

Thundering Taiko drumming meets traditional Japanese dance as over thirty drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University take the stage!

The group is visiting to perform at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, a program of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia to encourage a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States.