On May 19, Shakuhachi Grand Master Riley Lee returns to Honolulu for a rare solo concert and his debut in Hawaiʻi Public Radio’s intimate Atherton Studio. Entitled Breath-Sight, the program is comprised primarily of classical “original pieces,” called koten honkyoku. These pieces were created, transmitted and performed as part of the Zen Buddhist spiritual practice known as suizen or “blowing meditation.” Lee will accompany these pieces with the stories and explanations of the meaning and imagery behind the music.
Reservations may be made online or by calling the station (955-8821) during regular business hours. Tickets are $25 general, $20 for HPR members, and $15 for students with ID; online ticketing fees apply. The Atherton Studio is located at Hawaiʻi Public Radio, 738 Kāheka Street. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.; music begins at 7:30 p.m.
About the artist
Riley Lee began studying the shakuhachi in Japan in 1971, and in 1980 became the first non-Japanese acknowledged as a shakuhachi Dai Shihan (Grand Master). He went to Roosevelt High School (1969) and received BA and MA degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi and a PhD from Sydney University. Lee has released over 60 albums internationally, with over 70,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. He has performed in Hawaiʻi, notably with Jeff Peterson and Kenny Endo, and plays annually at the Lawai Pilgrimage of Compassion on Kauaʻi.
Lee is on the staff at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is an Honorary Fellow at Western Sydney University. Riley taught at the University of Hawaiʻi for six years, and regularly teaches at Princeton (USA) and other universities. Last year, he worked in Halifax (Canada) on a recording with Celtic duo, Fork and Spoon. He performs primarily in the USA, Europe, and Australia.
Lee and his family moved to Australia in 1986, where he now resides.