June 9, 2009

Beautiful Music on the Fabled Silk Road

New York Times praises performances of Kojiro Umezaki ’91 and others

Kojiro Umezaki ’91, assistant professor of music at the University of California, Irvine, is among the “international superstars” praised by The New York Times in its review of two concerts at Alice Tully Hall by the Silk Road Project, a collaboration of musicians along the ancient trade route from Western Europe to Eastern Asia. The ensemble includes renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

“The performances were consistently fine and sometimes stunning,” the article states. “The international superstars were mostly magical: Wi Man on pipa (Chinese lute), Wu Tong on sheng (Chinese mouth organ), and Kojiro Umezaki on shakuhachi (Japanese band flute) on both evenings”

A Silk Road concert Tuesday in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center will be broadcast on the PBS series Live from Lincoln Center.

A computer science graduate, Umezaki performs regularly with the Silk Road Ensemble and the Montreal-based jazz trio Beat in Fractions. He has recorded on the Sony BMG, Signum Classics, and Smithsonian Folkways labels, among others. Also a composer, he earned a degree in electro-acoustic music from Dartmouth College.

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