Luncheon and Monthly Meetings
January 2018 Luncheon
Have you ever experienced bunraku or kabuki and noticed the dynamic music and narration? Recently back from a year and a half in London performing classical Japanese dance and music with numerous foreign artists at various venues, we are honored to have Kaho Aso as our January guest speaker. She will first talk about the important role music plays in traditional Japanese theatre, then perform nihon buyo, a traditional Japanese dance as well as play kotsuzumi, the Japanese shoulder drum. Having studied under the same teacher, CWAJ member Jeannette Ohmae will then accompany her on shinobue and nohkan, the Japanese flute, performing a piece written for the two of them.
“I believe that my life as an artist is like a conversation that changes and grows over time. Acting in plays, dancing on stage, performing Japanese classical music are all-important aspects of my life. Born and raised in Japan, nothing would give me more joy than to share my world of music and art. Each day is a new opportunity to express my own individual sense of Japanese culture and beauty. I want to share that with you.”
Kaho Aso completed the doctoral program at Tokyo University of the Arts receiving her degree in Traditional Japanese Music. During her undergraduate studies, she was awarded the Ataka Prize, which she followed by numerous performances including ‘Rainbow 21’ at Suntory Hall. She has since performed throughout Japan and has appeared on many NHK TV and radio programs, some of which were produced by the famous Japanese producer Ryuichi Sakamoto. She has also performed during the Saito Kinen Festival under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, and was honored to dance in front of Empress Michiko during the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Japan-US Women’s Association.
Since 2008, Kaho has been sent by the Japan Foundation to perform in France, Germany, Portugal, Luxembourg, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. In 2013 she was invited to New York to participate in the Lincoln Center Festival; and then in 2016 she was sent to London for one and a half years by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Government of Japan where she held various performances with numerous foreign artists. Kaho was able to convey the harmony between traditional Japanese and Western music and increase many artists’ fascination with Japanese instruments.
Having studied hougaku bayashi, Japanese traditional music, under Rosen Tousha 6th and nihon buyo, Japanese traditional dance under Koushiro Matsumoto 9th, she incorporates both genres into her solo performances. Kaho also teaches at both Utsunomiya University and Yokohama National University as a part-time professor.
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Luncheon Program Coordinators: Joan Rodgers Doi and Shigeko Nagaoka
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