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The International Shakuhachi Society

Brian Tairaku Ritchie

Ritchie, Brian Tairaku
Born ????/11/21


Brian Ritchie studied shakuhachi for seven years in New York City with James Nyoraku Schlefer. Ritchie achieved the rank of Jun Shihan (teaching license) in March of 2003. Along with the license he received the professional name “Tairaku” which means “Big Music”. Although he has been playing shakuhachi for a comparatively short period of time, Brian has already released two CD’s of shakuhachi music, “Purple Field” (Honkyoku) and “Shakuhachi Club NYC” (World Jazz).

Aside from his shakuhachi activities, Brian tours and records with Violent Femmes, a band he started in 1981. The Femmes have played in over 40 countries. Their accomplishments include sold out performances at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Woodstock ’94 and the northernmost rock concert in history at the magnetic north pole. They have numerous gold and platinum records to their name.





Shakuhachi Club NYC Shakuhachi Club NYC

Violent Femmes bass player Brian Ritchie takes up the traditional Japanese wooden flute and makes some very untraditional shakuhachi music with some of the best boho musicians on the New York scene. Featuring Billy Ficca of Television on drums, Tony Trischka (Bela Fleck's teacher) on banjo, along with tuba player Dan Nosheny and John Kruth on mandolin, "Shakuhachi Club NYC" was recorded live in one room in the style of classic jazz recordings and features compositions by John Coltrane and Albert Ayler.

Tracks Recorded

BenderShakuhachi Club NYC
Change Has ComeShakuhachi Club NYC
Have No IdeaShakuhachi Club NYC
Lace DressShakuhachi Club NYC
LamentShakuhachi Club NYC
Living SpaceShakuhachi Club NYC
Motherless ChildrenShakuhachi Club NYC
Oyster StompShakuhachi Club NYC
TvottavisurShakuhachi Club NYC
Waltz of the MinotaurShakuhachi Club NYC
Watazumi's Tea BowlShakuhachi Club NYC

Composed or Arranged

Shakuhachi Compositions
YearTitleKanjiAlternate Title

Have No Idea

Lace Dress


Oyster Stomp

Waltz of the Minotaur

Watazumi's Tea Bowl

The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018