Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Picks: “Island Breeze” CD by Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee & Kenny Endo

Photography by Jeff Peterson

Photography by Jeff Peterson

The tracks of “Island Breeze” feature a trio of world class musicians, each masters of their own instruments, who have come together to create some new and beautiful music. Award winning Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist Jeff Peterson and shakuhachi master Riley Lee have been working together for many years. In 2012, they joined forces with taiko master Kenny Endo during a week-long residency in which each artist conducted intensive workshops. The trio put together a program of refreshing music, like an “island breeze” and presented it in concert at the University of Hawai‘i’s Orvis Auditorium. Their strong ties to Hawaii and its natural beauty is brilliantly reflected in twelve original songs that allow each performer to shine.

Produced and arranged by Jeff Peterson, Riley Lee, and Kenny Endo

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jules Washington at Blue Planet Sound

Graphic Design by Disc Makers
Click here to purchase “Island Breeze”. It is also available on CD Baby

Riley Lee. Photo by Rudi Van Starrex; Jeff Peterson. Photo by  Kim Taylor Reece; Kenny Endo. Photo by  Shuzo Uemoto

Riley Lee. Photo by Rudi Van Starrex; Jeff Peterson. Photo by Kim Taylor Reece; Kenny Endo. Photo by Shuzo Uemoto

Find more about the artists at:
www.kennyendo.com
www.jeffpetersonguitar.com
www.rileylee.net

Musical Clips may be viewed at:



KENNY ENDO is one of the world’s leading artists in contemporary percussion and rhythm. He is the vanguard of the taiko genre, continuing to pave new paths in this Japanese style drumming even after thirty-five years of experience. A performer, composer, and teacher with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms from around the world into original melodies and improvisation.

Originally trained as a jazz musician in the West Coast Asian American cultural renaissance of the 1970s, Endo began his taiko career with L.A.’s groundbreaking Kinnara Taiko, and then with the renowned San Francisco Taiko Dojo, the first kumi daiko group outside of Japan. In 1980 he embarked on a decade-long odyssey to his ancestral Japan, studying and performing with masters of ancient classical drumming, traditional Tokyo festival music, and ensemble drumming. Endo has the honor of being the first non-Japanese national to have received a natori (stage name and masters degree) in hogaku hayashi (classical drumming). In the hogaku world, Endo is known as Mochizuki Tajiro. He was a professional member of the famed
O Edo Sukeroku Taiko, has an M.A. in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii, and formed the Taiko Center of the Pacific in 1994 with his wife, Chizuko.

In the greater musical world “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with “taiko.” He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between classical Japanese style and his own neo-classical, globally-inspired variety. Among his many distinctions are an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an artist residency at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York, his own “Kenny Endo Day” proclaimed by the Mayor of Honolulu, and certificates of honor from the House and Senate of the State of Hawaii and Honolulu City Council.

Endo has recorded five CDs of original taiko compositions, and was a featured artist on the PBS special “Spirit of Taiko.” He performed for Michael Jackson and Prince as well as Princess Diana and Prince Charles. He opened for The Who, performed a duet with singer Bobby McFerrin, and is featured on the soundtracks for Kayo Hatta’s film “Picture Bride” and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” He was also recorded in motion capture suit for James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

Endo’s taiko skills have taken him to the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of American History, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Theatre de Champs-Elysee in Paris, the Kabukiza and National Theater in Japan. He has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Honolulu Symphony and Tokyo Symphony, traveling across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, the former Soviet Union, Australia, and the Americas in his effort to share taiko with the world.

JEFF PETERSON
Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene today. His passion for the guitar has allowed him to shine as a solo artist and has given him the opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of artists from Hawaii, across the US, and abroad. His focus on Slack Key guitar, classical, and jazz music has allowed him to develop a unique and transcendent voice on the guitar while being deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage. He has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and has been honored with three Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards in Hawaii. 
His latest solo CD “Maui on My Mind,” was recognized as the Slack Key Album of the Year in 2010. His latest release features his songwriting, performing, and producing on Amy Hanaiali`i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii. The groundbreaking recording features a collaboration between Jeff, Amy Hanaiali`i, Cyril Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi, Sonny Lim, and Chino Montero.

Five of his songs including Hawaiian Skies were featured in the film The Descendants starring George Clooney.

RILEY LEE
Riley Lee began playing shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971, studying with Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and has been a student of Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984. He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980. Riley has a BA and MA in music from the University of Hawaii and received his PhD degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Sydney. He has published scholarly articles and book reviews in leading national and international musicology journals. He has been instrumental in creating a professional presence of traditional Japanese music in Australia and has made over fifty commercially released recordings since 1980. Riley was the first non-Japanese to play taiko professionally, touring internationally with Ondekoza (now called Kodo). In 1995, he co-founded with Ian Cleworth, Australia’s dynamic Japanese festival drum group, TaikOz which has since become one of Australia’s premier performance groups, acclaimed both at home and in Japan.

Related Articles:
Dan Kwong’s WHAT? NO PING-PONG BALLS? with Kenny Endo at Interact Theatre Company as part of 2014 National Asian American Theater Festival and Conference
Taiko Master Kenny Endo and Hiromitsu Agatsuma on Shamisen at Japan Society on June 5, 2013
Two-Time Grammy Nominated Hiroshima Kicks off 2013 Spring Tour at The Laguna Playhouse, with Special Guest Taiko Master Kenny Endo on April 15, 2013
Living Colour Vivid 25th Anniversary US Tour – Spring 2013
Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe Celebrate New CD, Convergence with Concerts in Washington D.C. on February 27 and in New York on March 5, 2013
Two-Time Grammy Nominated Hiroshima Performs at Yoshi’s Oakland, August 17-19, 2012
H I R O S H I M A in Benefit Concert for Japan on 9/21 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NY
Foremost American Taiko Artist, Kenny Endo, to perform in Tokyo on April 24 and April 30
Kenny Endo 35th Anniversary Concert Tour
Multimedia: Asian Pacific American Month Celebration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
On Ensemble, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe in Taiko x2 at Cerritos Center

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Ann Harada Ends Run on Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ on December 14; Set for World Premiere of ‘Brooklynite’ at The Vineyard in January 2015
New York Times Critics’ Pick OUR LADY OF KIBEHO by Katori Hall, extends through December 14
Lia Chang Picks: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City: Chinese-American Nightclubs, 1930-1970 
Q & A with Danny Ramm, Co-writer of Joe Mantegna Helmed ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode to Honor the late Meshach Taylor; Airs January 21, 2015
Yellow Sound Label to Release BD Wong’s Debut CD HERRINGBONE on December 2, 2014
Tonya Pinkins,Trezana Beverley and More Set for World Premiere of War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Yale Repertory Theatre through December 13
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre’s Tony Kiser Theatre Beginning January 16, 2015
Photos: BD Wong, Cindy Cheung, Brooke Ishibashi,Thom Sesma, Manna Nichols, Steven Eng, Ariel Estrada and Lori Tan Chinn at Leviathan Lab’s Ghost Stories
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Cheryl L. Davis’ Maid’s Door Sweeps AUDELCOs with 7 Wins; Complete List of 2014 AUDELCO Recipients
Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Set for Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I 
Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
NYU Theatrical Production Presents the World Premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night in the Shubert Theatre at Tisch School of the Arts
Q & A with Playwright Camille Darby, 2014-15 Dramatists Guild Playwrighting Fellow
Costume Institute’s Spring 2015 Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum to Focus on Chinese Imagery in Art, Film, and Fashion, May 7–August 16, 2015
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee
Photos: Art Salon with Artist Yang Chihung and Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang at New-York Historical Society
Photos: Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion on View through April 19, 2015 at New York Historical Society
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Photos: Maxine Hong Kingston, Billie Tsien, Bill T. Jones, Linda Ronstadt, John Kander, Julia Alvarez, Jeffrey Katzenberg Receive 2013 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama 
Photos: Artist Arlan Huang, One Brush Stroke at a Time
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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