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Cultural Performance: Ensemble Musical Group, Kotorito feat. Kazutaka

Photo courtesy of Kazutaka Fukui

Enjoy a performance by Kotorito (香鳥絃), a Japanese musical group with wagakki, traditional Japanese musical instruments. Kotorito will collaborate with Kazutaka “Kazu” Fukui on the Shamisen, which literally means ‘three strings’. This is a very special concert that will include Shamisen (banjo), Taiko (drum), Shinobue (flute), Koto (harp), and vocals all together (you seldom see these 5 play together in Japan)! As an ensemble, the musicians will play through traditional numbers as well as contemporary music. This is a great opportunity to learn much more about Japanese music as well as enjoy their performance together.

Kotorito was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2018 by Kohgetsu Aoki, Eri Muroi, and Yumi Torimaru. Kotorito’s repertoire spans from traditional minyo(Japanese folk) songs to modern pieces from Japan. Kotorito proudly will join Kazutaka “Kazu” Fukui for his shamisen performance held at the Garden’s.Cultural Corner.

Photo by Justin Leverett

Kazu is currently residing in Portland as a fellow gardener at the Portland Japanese Garden. Kazu started his shamisen training at age 16 and won a prize at a national shamisen competition in Japan at age 19. Now he plays shamisen all over the world. Along with his musical pursuit, he studied gardening and earned a Master’s degree in Landscaping Architecture at the Tokyo University of Agriculture. Being in two professions – sound and visual – Kazu disseminates Japanese culture through his unique approaches.