Miyabi Koto Shamisen Ensemble is a New York based group founded and headed by Ms. Masayo Ishigure. Ms. Ishigure began playing the koto and shamisen at the age of five, and later developed her skills with Tadao and Kazue Sawai as a special research student.
The ensemble consists of members of the Sawai Koto Academy which is one of the most prominent schools for contemporary Koto and Shamisen music.
The aim of the academy is to incorporate many influences from classical to jazz and thus change the perception of the koto solely as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness.
Since its foundation in 1996, MIYABI’s repertoire has ranged from classical to contemporary koto and shamisen music. The ensemble especially dedicates themselves to playing Tadao Sawai’s compositions.
They have played many concerts in the New York Metropolitan area, the eastern United States, Hawaii, and South America. In addition, they have been introducing Japanese culture through workshops and school performances. The leader of the NY Ensemble is Ms. Masayo Ishigure.
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