Bruce Huebner ブルースヒューバナー尺八 Shakuhachi

Performer, composer, producer and educator Bruce Huebner creates new music on a traditional Japanese instrument, the shakuhachi.



演奏家 教育者 音楽プロヂューサー




Bridging Worlds

Bruce Huebner has 35 years of study, performance, composition and music production experience in Japan. Trained in western music and jazz in Los Angeles California,  Bruce is also the first non-Japanese to graduate from the Tokyo University of Arts and Music in traditional music performance where he studied under National Treasure Yamaguchi Goro.

Threshold between Traditional and Modern

Since receiving his shihan teaching license in Japan he has performed at Kyoto Concert Hall, New York Blue Note and Joe’s Pub, Toronto Jazz Festival, the Japan National Theater and Yokohama Motion Blue, and in 2014 at Yakushi Temple in Nara. He has appeared on NHK Broadcast SatelliteTelevision, NHK World,, and Nihon TV. 




Bruce conducts lecture concerts in schools, community centers, clubs, temples and colleges throughout Japan and abroad.

He has lectured and performed at Rome University, Kent State University, Santa Barbara City College, St Lawrence University, New York,  University of British Columbia, Canada, Meiji Gakuina College, Nagano Jr College and Nihon Keizai University.

Bruce has performed over 70 “Going Home” concerts in the disaster areas of North Eastern Japan. 

Also as a guest performer and collaborator Bruce has been featured with Jonathan Katz' Tokyo Big Band, Paul Winter Consort veteran vocalist Susan Osborn, Soto Buddhist Shomyo Chant master Maekawa Bakusho,  jazz guitarist Tomoya Hara, and koto master Curtis Patterson among many others.

New Projects

Bruce is active as a soloist and as a member of The Aeolian Duo with Tokyo guitarist Koufuu Suwa, KS Duo with Australian koto player Miyama McQueen/Tokita, Zen Poolz with New York percussionist Todd Isler,  and Tradewinds Pacifica with Santa Barbara-based guitarist George Quirin. 

Bruce and The shakuhachi 

The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese end-blown flute that has roots in Zen Buddhism and art music of the Edo Period, roughly the 17th and 18th Centuries.  The traditional performance practices of the shakuhachi include a variety of finger and breath attacks, lip slurs and stylistic ornamentation. 

The construction of the shakuhachi features a large embouchure hole that allows the player to manipulate the pitch and timbre with the angle of the head in combination with the lips.  For me the shakuhachi is a fretless flute; a wonderful tool for music making.  

I want to take the legacy of the Japanese monks who played shakuhachi centuries ago into a new context in my music. I believe This amazing instrument, the shakuhachi, can join in a myriad of settings, from classical to jazz, celtic to Spanish, traditional to modern across the globe. 


Bruce Huebner Facts

Born February 12th, 1960 in Santa Monica, California 

Resides in Yokohama City, Japan


Bachelor of Music, California State University, Northridge (1983)

M.A. Asian Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (1989)

M.A. Japanese Music Performance, Tokyo University of Music and Arts (1993)

Shihan Traditional Teaching License, Chikuyu-sha Shakuhachi Guild (1995)


Visiting Lecturer 

Rome University

Kent State University

Santa Barbara City College, California

St Lawrence University, New York

University of British Columbia, Canada

Meiji Gakuin College, Yokohama

Nagano Jr College, Nagano Prefecture

Nihon Keizai University, Tokyo

Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima

Professor Fukushima Gakuin University, Fukushima


Kyoto Concert Hall

Joe's Pub, New York City

New York Blue Note

Oto Butai, Yakushi Temple, Nara

Motion Blue, Yokohama

STB, Roppongi, Tokyo

Presidio Chapel, Santa Barbara

Tohoku 2011 Disaster Area "Going Home" Concert Series Producer/Performer

Mitsuike Park Sakura Concert Series, Yokohama, Producer/Performer


Collaborations and guest appearances with

Hara Tomoya, The Sawaii Koto School, Tokyo Big Band, Miki Bingo Inter Gallactic Orchestra, Pink Bongo Jazz Band, Jonathan Katz, Todd Isler, Tom Pierson, Susan Osborn, Curtis Patterson, Katou Mie, Takazawa Etsuko,  Yamahira Arumando, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestral, Steve Sacks, Eien Hunter Ishikawa, Maekawa Bokusho, Okura Kennosuke, Wind Groove, among others.


CD Releases

Solo Akebono (1999)

Candela Mogami (2000)

Candela Rise Above (2003)

BODO  Bright Ones, Dark Ones (2005)

Curt and Bruce Going Home (2005)

Curt and Bruce Tracings (2007)

Solo Deep Forest (2007)

Zui Zui (2010)

Aeolian Duo Aeolian Voyage (2016)

Tradewinds Pacifica Pelican Buoy (20016)


Educational Materials

Shakuhachi Shihan in English, Vol. 1,2,3,4 (DVD)