Category Archives: meditation music

Koto Jazz @ NW Folklife, Seattle Center Theater

Is this the event where I “arrived”? It felt half way there, and then ended struggling with restraint, getting too excited, to a pretty full audience at the Seattle Center’s Center House Theater. So frustrating , not enough time to practice to smooth out the edges. It’s a wide open and deep venue, so I sense the needed to “project” my music. The first 4 songs I played seemed well received.

Live recording at Northwest Folklife, Seattle Center, on SoundCloud,  https://soundcloud.com/northwestfolklifefestival/koto-jazz 

The good news is my music has again been accepted to air on the local classical radio station KING FM 98.1’s Second Inversion program.  More details are forthcoming, including links to the program.

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Local Talent Mark Goldberg & Koto Jazz Live @ Mill Creek Newsroom, Sat. May 19th

MarkGoldbergPosterJoin Mark Goldberg and myself, Koto Jazz, for a relaxing evening of live music at the Mill Creek Newsroom, 800 164th Street, SE, Mill Creek, WA 98012; #425-361-1949.

Date: May 19, 2018, Saturday,

Time: 7-9 pm,

Who: popular local talent Mark Goldberg and Koto Jazz by Chris Kenji.

Venue: Mill Creek Newsroom Gelato and Coffee House, 800 164th Street, SE, Mill Creek, WA 98012; #425-361-1949. No cover.

RSVP here, https://www.facebook.com/events/2126666407565529/.

 

2018 Cannon Beach Spring Unveiling Festival

Inspiring art everywhere was enough to help me push through a rather long two hour at times choppy, and sometimes humbling performance. In the end, it was good enough, and sometimes that just has to do.

Thanks to Paul Deuber, Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, and the Cannon Beach Gallery Group for debuting their first year of music along with artistic works featured by over 20 art galleries in this small town rated by National Geographic as one of the top 20 beach resorts in the nation.

I introduced three new songs recently written in the spring of 2018 and played for the first time in public, and here are excerpts of these songs listed as the first three songs on the following web page:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=1382715

1) Wellspring
2) Repercussions
3) Getting away from the Blues

I’d love your feedback.

Enjoy the unveiling of spring in all is manifestations.

Spring Schedule Set -NW FOLKLIFE, CB Arts Fest, & Grumpy D’s

Playing at Grumpy D’s Coffee House in Ballard, where I lived in my 20s, is like coming home. The Cannon Beach Unveiling Arts Festival is coming up Saturday, May 05 where I play at Ecola Square, 1:45-3:45pm, Mill Creek Newsroom with Mark Goldberg and Koto Jazz May 19, 7-9pm, and then the Northwest Folklife Festival on May 27 at the Seattle Center’s CenterHouse Theater.

folklife-festival-2018-logoThe NW Folklife schedule is here: https://2018northwestfolklifefestival.sched.com/event/EfnM/koto-jazz

Here are a few samples from that gig on April 06:

 Tori No Yo Ni (“Like a Bird”), Live @ Grumpy D’s Coffeehouse, Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, Washington performed April 06, 2018:

 Wellspring, Live @ Grumpy D’s Coffeehouse, Ballard neighborhood in Seattle, Washington performed April 06, 2018:

Flurry of down home story telling @ the DEN in Bothell…

Every song has a story. Remember the end of season snow storm we had (south Seattle) in May 2017? I played this song, Snow Flurry, for the first time on that day.

Below is a full song list for the live piano gig on at Saturday, December 16, 2017 below. The feature song of the night is the following video of “Snow Flurry”:

  1. Tide Pools & Waves
  2. Tori no Yo Ni (Like a Bird)
  3. Mount Index Ice Caves
  4. Snow Flurry
  5. Kojo no Tsuki (Moon Over Ruined Castle)
  6. Snow Blossoms

 

Stormy Weather Arts Festival Sees Sunny Days

Here are more pix from the Stormy Weather Arts Festival, November 3-5, 2017; at the Jeffrey Hull Gallery and the next day at the Coaster Theater.

KotoJazz @ Jeffrey Hull Gallery, Nov. 3

 

Beautiful water color and oil paintings, by Jeffrey Hull Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR. Visit the gallery at 172 N. Hemlock St., downtown Cannon Beach, and join me for some KotoJazz at 5pm, Friday, November 3rd. Visit  http://www.hullgallery.com/the-30th-annual-stormy-weather-arts-festival/

Koto Jazz Piano at Japan Fair 2017, July 8 & 9, 2:30pm – 5pm; Annual Dinner, Sat. July 8, 6pm

Come join me at what promises to be an enjoyable event that offers you a visual introduction to all things Japanese. This includes a colorful fashion show to original Japanese performance by famous Kokyu performer Daikuke Kiba and my own variations on 1,000 year old Japanese koto music played on the keyboard. These include Haru no Umi, Tori no Yo Ni, and Kojo no Tsuki. I will also play my originals including recent art show selections Windy Wheat Fields and Snow Blossoms, and hyper fast Snow Flurry.

Sample previews are available here: https://kotojazz.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/sanger-de-christo-arts-center-represents-the-west-with-classy-exhibit/

 

Sangre de Cristo Arts Center “Represents the West” With Quality Exhibit

The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, Colorado showcases a stellar presentation, professional art exhibit “Representing The West”. My music was selected among 550 artists as part of the digital media section:

Song 01: Windy Kansas Wheat Fields

Song 02: Snow Blossoms

Song 03:  Snow Flurry

04: metamorph senses CD

In and Around the “Representing the West” Exhibit:

Out and About the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center:

Koto Jazz Tunes 90: 2 Originals “Represent the West” @ Sangre de Cristo

Another stroke of luck. In January – March 2017 two of my original Kotojazz tunes are recognized as “Representing the West” at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center annual exhibit. These are pure new age Americana folk songs. “Snow Blossoms” was inspired by the blue violets peeking through melting snow on a sunny winter day along Boulder Creek trail in  Boulder, Colorado. “Windy Kansas Wheat Fields” was inspired by strong wind blowing over fields of grass and wheat creating a steady undulating flow like ocean waves. You can see the wind blowing through wheat fields in eastern Colorado and Kansas. Both feed our souls, in their simplicity and stillness (snow blossoms) and their awesome enduring power (windy Kansas wheat fields).

I am reminded that the “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it; you know neither from where it comes nor to where it goes, and so it is with the Spirit.”

Previews of these songs are available here:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chriskenjibeer5

 

KotoJazz 89: David Wilborn’s ‘jazz it up’ tune @ C&P West Seattle

 

David Wilborn likes to jazz it up with some upbeat, almost ragtime rhythmic tunes. His music is mostly improvisation and this is one of those. As a gifted creator of sound into melodic rhythm, it’s been a pleasure and privilege to have Dave as a friend for over 20 years, and as a music partner for the past year.

Sometime the smaller venues are more fun and interactive and relaxing for us both, and we find that C&P Coffee Company which hosts music performers like us every week, is just such the place  to make you feel at home. It is located right on the main drag in West Seattle at 5621 California Street, just south of the West Seattle “Junction”. Stop by sometime and you just might find us rockin’ up this classic coffee house, or someone else like us. The coffee and service there is fabolicious!

metamorph senses (new CD release & a koto jazz tune)

This new CD mostly live production was crazy, experimental fun – anchored by a few George Winston covers, a touch of Narada/ Silver Wave- style new age, a koto jazz tune, and some “off the beaten path”, eclectic wacko improvisations . . . and you have a metamorphosis of the senses –

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/chriskenjibeer5

metamorphsenses_final02

 

Whales Breaching Live @Northwest FOLKLIFE

From the Sounds from the Coast CD, “Whales Breaching is a celebration of life, sharing the seas with our ocean friends, and a hope that we will never take them for granted. Let’s support their rights as our own.

 

“Breach” – Live Koto Jazz & the SyntHorn @ The Royal Room; NW FOLKLIFE Next

Here is a live recording of a tune I first played at Stone Way Café’s Fremont Art Walk on April 1st, then recorded live at The Royal Room on April 13th with Koto Jazz accompaniment by Patrick Wilson on the SyntHorn –

🎶  “Breach”, by Chris Kenji & Patrick Wilson.

 

Koto Jazz on soundclick.com

 

Join me and Koto Jazz partners next week in Pioneer Square and Northwest Folklife –

April 29th, 7-8:30PM, Saturday, Koto Jazz @ FREDERICK HOLMES AND COMPANY Art Gallery, 309 Occidental Ave., Occidental Mall, Pioneer Square, dowtown Seattle; #206-682-0166.

May 27, 4:30- 5:10 PM, Friday, 2016 NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE;“Koto Jazz – Sounds On the Coast” by Chris Kenji, Center Theater, Seattle Center, Seattle WA. No cover

Koto Jazz 85: Next Wednesday @The Royal Room

Take a mid-week break next Wednesday and relax by stopping by The Royal Room at 7:00-9:30pm, April 13th as Patrick Wilson and I demo our experimental session of Koto Jazz with bossa nova rhythm and beat on the Steinway and Patrick’s invention, the SyntHorn. We’re attempting to further refine it to make it truly stage worthy in preparation for Northwest Folklife opening day. We perform for Northwest Folklife on Friday, May 27 at 4:30pm-5:10pm. The Koto Jazz will be stage worthy with bossa nova fusion. The Royal Room is located in south Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood at 5000 Rainier Ave South, Seattle. See http://theroyalroomseattle.com for quality dining and drinks. This will be part of a donation of $100 I plan to give to the Royal Room and Wayne Horvitz toward piano repairs!!