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Copy of Profile - 日本語

渡辺 薫

 

篠笛、和太鼓奏者、作曲家。ニューヨーク、ブルックリン在住。

長きにわたり、日本の伝統音楽と現代的な作曲技法を融合させる。
和太鼓集団「鼓童」に10年近くメンバー兼演出家として在籍。
2006年独立以降、人間国宝の坂東玉三郎,ジェイソン・モラン、ヨーヨー・マ&シルクロードアンサンブル、書道家柿沼康二、映画監督ウェス・アンダーソン、マーティン・スコセッシ等とコラボレーションを行う。カーネギーホールをはじめ、リンカーンセンター、ケネディセンター、メトロポリタン美術館、ホイットニー美術館、歌舞伎座、京都四條南座、ブルーノートニューヨーク等名だたるホールで公演を重ね、近年は北・南アメリカ、オーストラリア、ヨーロッパ、アジアでコンサート・ワークショップを行う等、世界へ活動の場を広げている。また今春には、日本の伝統音楽にジャズをはじめとするあらゆる西洋音楽の複雑な即興・作曲法の要素を取り入れ、新しい世界観を提示したアルバム、「Néo」をリリース。

演奏活動を精力的に行う一方、指導・文化伝承活動も力を入れており、太鼓用品を扱う老舗の宮本卯之助商店が世界に発信するeラーニングサイトkaDONで太鼓、篠笛の講師を務めている。その他にもプリンストン大学、ウェズリアン大学、コルビー大学、ディキンソン大学で講師として招待され、教鞭を執る。

I have long felt that Kaoru Watanabe has the greatest sound on the shinobue of any player in the world.
— Ranjo (master shinobue maker)
Kaoru Watanabe: a rare musician who traverses the traditional music forms both East and West, classical and contemporary, predetermined and improvisational. His expertise in taiko drumming and bamboo flutes gives his music both force with exteme delicacy. His superb musicianship makes him a joy to create with. He enriches any musical situation with his unique perspective.
— Jason Moran (Jazz Pianist, Blue Note Recording Artist)
Kaoru’s fue performances, compositions, and teachings bring this ancient sound directly into our modern world with clarity and relevance, His background in jazz and improvisational music further extend his range of expression and musical depth.
Kaoru’s taiko performances are exciting and impressive. He utilizes a philosophy which stresses engaging and relaxing the entire body with maximum power and resonance.
Kaoru is reinventing the tradition and pushing the edge of innovation- all within one deep breath and one clear sound.
— Kenny Endo (leading taiko artist)
Kaoru was one of the principal artists at Town Hall Seattle’s 2008 project, “Japan in America.” He is an extraordinary young musician, equally adept on traditional Japanese fue (flutes), contemporary Western flute, and taiko — Japanese drums. Our project was a unique one, and Kaoru’s keen intelligence, good humor, collaborative skills and stage savvy helped in the development and rehearsals for the project’s major concert and its educational and community programs. He was a great pleasure to work with throughout, and I recommend him without hesitation to those who seek a gifted artist with these skills.
— Spider Kedelsky (Producer, Town Hall Seattle’s Global Rhythms Series)

SELECTED ENSEMBLES and COLLABORATORS:

  • Kaoru Watanabe's Ne-O Ensemble
  • Kenny Endo/Kaoru Watanabe Convergence Duo kennyendo.com
  • MOTIONS featuring Matt Kilmer, Tim Keiper and Chris Dingman motionsmusic.com
  • Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble silkroadproject.org/ensemble
  • Kaoru Watanabe’s RESONANCE featuring Kiyohiko Semba, Kaori Takahashi, Shogo Yoshii, others)
  • KODO, guest artistic director and guest artist kodo.or.jp
  • Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra www.metarecords.com/go.html
  • Kaoru Watanabe/Satoshi Takeishi Duo
  • PAN Project with Jeff Roberts, Gamin, Sori CHoi and Yingchieh Wang  jeff-roberts.org/#!pan-project/c1dtd
  • So Percussion sopercussion.com
  • Simone Leigh (visual artist) simoneleigh.com
  • On Ensemble onesnsemble.org
  • Kakinuma Koji (calligrapher) kakinumakoji.com
  • Sun Trio feat. Tetsuro Naito and Patrick Graham
  • Flutes of Hope featuring Ralph Samuelson, Steve Gorn, Sumie Kaneko 
  • Alicia Hall Moran’s Motown Project aliciahallmoran.com
  • Imani Uzuari’s The Gypsy Diaries/Hush Arbor imaniuzuri.com
  • TaikOz (Sydney) taikoz.com
  • Tamango's Urban Tap 
  • KODO, performer, composer, artistic director, Sado Island, Japan 2000-2006
  • SOH DAIKO, member, New York 1996-1997
  • ST. LOUIS OSUWA DAIKO, founding member, St. Louis, MO 1986-1992

TEACHING

  • SILK ROAD PROJECT, Global Musician Workshop, faculty
  • PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, lecturer, Japanese Taiko, INT’L PERSPECTIVES
  • KADON ONLINE INSTRUCTION, instructor, Taiko and Fue
  • KAORU WATANABE TAIKO CENTER, founder, instructor - BROOKLYN, NY 2008-PRESENT
  • WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, instructor, Japanese Taiko – Spring 2011 to 2013
  • DICKINSON COLLEGE, instructor, Japanese Taiko- Fall 2012
  • COLBY COLLEGE, instructor, Japanese Taiko - Winter 2011

EDUCATION

  • KODO, apprentice - SADO, ISLAND JAPAN 1998-2000
  • Intensive studies in taiko, folk dance, folk song, shinobue, Noh, Kyogen, tea ceremony, Japanese traditional performing arts history, farming, sewing and woodworking.
  • MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC New York, NY, BA in Jazz Performance 1993-1997
  • INTERLOCHEN ARTS ACADEMY – boarding arts high school – Michigan

PRIVATE STUDIES

Jan Smith (flute), Harold Jones (flute), Steve Slagle (saxophone/flute), Hiroyuki Matsuda (noh kan), Kyosuke Suzuki (Edo Matsuri Bayashi), Kiyonari Tosha (taiko), Tadashi Ogasawara (Kyogen), Meisho Tosha (noh kan), Robert Dick (flute)

SPONSORSHIP

Japanese flutes (shinobue, ryuteki and noh kan) are provided by master flute maker Ranjo of Chiba Prefecture, Japan.