Layout Image

Sakura Matsuri – Performers



Kaoru Watanabe

A former member and artistic director of Japan’s iconic taiko ensemble Kodo and one of the leading voices of the Shinobue flutes and taiko drums in his generation, teams up with SHANE SHANAHAN, a percussionist in Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy Awarding winning Silk Road Ensemble since it’s inception in 2000. Together they perform a dynamic and varied repertoire of original works and improvisations that draw from a huge variety of musical traditions.

Watanabe performed with Kodo for close to a decade and as a solo artist has worked with a broad array of artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, jazz pianist Jason Moran, Japanese National Living Treasure Kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo and filmmaker Martin Scorsese.


Shane Shanahan has cultivated his own unique and highly sought after sound by combining his studies of drumming traditions from around the world with his background in jazz, rock and Western art music. He has toured around the globe performing side-by-side with Yo-Yo Ma as an original member of the award-winning Silk Road Ensemble.


Masayo Ishigure and her koto/samisen ensemble-“Miyabi”

Ishigure began playing the koto and shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai she became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music. The aim of the academy was to shed new light on koto music by incorporating everything from Bach to jazz and thus change the koto from being thought of only as a traditional Japanese instrument into an instrument of universal expressiveness.
Masayo Ishigure has played with symphony orchestras around the world and was featured on the soundtrack to the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” where she performed with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.

Daniel Soergel1

Grand-Master Daniel Nyohaku Soergel

Daniel was awarded the title of “Jun-Shihan” (Master) in the Kinko-Ryu style of Shakuhachi in 1998 under the mentorship of Ronnie Nyogetsu Seldin and Yoshio Kurahashi. His performance name of “Nyohaku” was awarded to him by his teachers and means “the essence of whiteness or purity” and reflects the spiritual nature of Shakuhachi performance. He will be performing throughout the day in the “Chapel” – Bamboo Atrium; a truly unique sound and experience with the rustle of the Bamboo as a backdrop.

Ichifuji-kai Dance Association

Ichifujikai Traditional Dance Co. is beginning their 6th decade of presenting classical and traditional Japanese dances. Their repertoire represents the elegant Soke Fujima Style.

Junko Fisher Okinawan Dance Company.

Junko-San is one of the original performers at our Sakura Matsuri and has enthralled audiences with her mesmerizing dance and beautiful voice and sanshin playing. Junko was born in Yomitan Village, on the main island of Okinawa. Her late uncle, a professional actor of Taishin Za and dancer of the Okinawa Dance Company, took Junko to the theater when she was only six months to play the part of a baby in a play, a part she was well suited for at the time; and she has been performing ever since.
Junko performs a wide range of Ryukyuan dances. The genres of these dances are:Classical (Court) dance: developed during the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Zo (popular) dance: developed after the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Modern dance: developed from the 20th century onward. Folk dance: including bon dances, drum dances. She also performs on the Okinawan sanshin (a stringed instrument used to accompany traditional Okinawan Dance) and sings Okinawan folk songs.

Ryu Shu Taiko

Long Island’s own Ryu Shu Taiko will present their Taiko Tamashii (Taiko Spirit) with traditional & contemporary pieces and collaborate with the Suffolk Comm.College Asian Club who will dance to the accompaniment of the Taiko.