Yume Japanese Gardens holds its first-ever concert March 8 when it welcomes master bamboo flute player Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos for an evening performance of haunting traditional shakuhachi music.
Ramos was born in Japan to Filipino parents, lives in British Columbia, Canada and is one of the foremost teachers and performers of shakuhachi in North America. He studied shakuhachi in Japan under several noted teachers and is the first Canadian and one of the very few non-Japanese to have obtained the esteemed status of Dai Shihan (“Grand Master”), in 2008. He has taught and performed in North America, Europe, and Japan.
Admission is $15 for members of Yume of Japanese Gardens and $17 for non-members. Seating is very limited, and tickets must be purchased in advance. For tickets, please call the Gardens at 520.445.2957 and have your credit card number ready .
More about Alcvin Ramos:
Alcvin is one of the foremost teachers and performers, and recording artists of shakuhachi in North America. He was the first non-Japanese to win a prize (runner-up) in the all-Japan Shakuhachi competition. In 2001, he received his shihan license from one of the greatest shakuhachi masters in history, Katsuya Yokoyama (founder of the International Shakuhachi Training Centre and brainchild of the World Shakuhachi Festivals) via one of his most exceptional students, Kaoru Kakizakai. While studying jiari playing Alcvin, also studied jinashi shakuhachi playing intensively with Atsuya Okuda of the Zensabo.
In November of 2008, Alcvin received an honourary Dai Shihan license along with a new name, “Ryuzen” (Dragon Meditation) from another one of Japan’s greatest players and teachers, Yoshinobu Taniguchi. Alcvin is the first Canadian and first one of Filipino descent, and one of only a handful of non-Japanese, to receive this esteemed honour. Alcvin has also studied shakuhachi construction techniques with Shugetsu Yamaguchi, Murai Eigoro, Kinya Sogawa, and John Kaizan Neptune. After decades of studying and playing, Alcvin has created a unique playing style, which effortlessly flows between the worlds of music and meditation.
He has taught and performed all over North America, Europe, and Japan and pursues an active solo as well as collaborative career and has shared the stage with many distinguished artists such as John McLaughlin, Bill Laswell, Toshinori Kondo, Hun Huur Tuu Mongolian Throat Singers, Kazutoki Umezu, Celso Machado, Giorgio Magnanensi, Joseph “Pepe” Danza, Uzume Taiko, Ma Jie, Mariano Gonzales, Danny Kalanduyan and has opened for Anoushka Shankar and the Yoshida Brothers. Recent bands he has played in: Dharmakasa, Isshin Denshin, Densabi, Maru, Grooved Whale Project, Haagen, and is presently leading Kazemon and the Samaya Ensemble. A composer and multi-instrumentalist, Ramos explores playing with different musical traditions from around the world as well as new ways of playing traditional instruments and combining them with synthesized and electronic music.
Alcvin lives in Canada, where he is the director of the Bamboo-In, a shakuhachi retreat centre on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia focused on meditation and the comprehensive study of the shakuhachi flute.
In his spare time Alcvin enjoys meditation, instrument building, composing, recording, hiking, ethnomusicology, calligraphy, and studying traditional Japanese arts.
Sample of Alcvin’s music:
For tickets to this concert at the newly opened Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, call 520-445-2957, which is open every day except some holidays, and the hot summer months of June through September. My photos from the January 2013 grand opening of that Japanese garden in Tucson (click here).
Ramos will also be conducting private flute lessons at Yume Japanese Gardens the same day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Richard Conway at 520-405-5665 to sign up, $80 for two hours, $50 one hour. All levels, flutes will be provided.
Happy Girls’ Day today (March 3) in the Japanese culture, a day when we honor all the girls/women in our lives, with doll displays and favorite foods.