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