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Japanese flute master plans IU Kokomo performance

Arts Mar 30, 2022
A man plays a Japanese flute
A man plays a Japanese flute

KOKOMO, Ind. – Talented musician Hanz Araki will share his mastery of the shakuhachi — the Japanese end-blown flute – with Indiana University Kokomo students, faculty, staff, and the Kokomo community on Wednesday, April 6.

In addition to visiting with students, Araki will perform a free concert from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. The event is open to the public.

Eric Bain-Selbo, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) said that Araki’s visit is just one example of the steps faculty and staff take to bring the world to Kokomo.

“It’s going to be a really cool event that ties in music with cultural history and diversity in America, all rolled into one,” Bain-Selbo said. “It’s a way we can bring the world to our students.”

Araki is the sixth member of his family to hold the title of Araki Kodo, signifying his mastery of the shakuhachi. In addition to his skills on the shakuhachi, Araki is skilled on the Irish whistle, combining the two instruments with years of exploration into Irish, Scottish, Japanese and American musical traditions.

Bain-Selbo encouraged community members, faculty, staff, and students to attend the performance.

“There are an amazing number of musically gifted people in Kokomo and Howard County and people with incredibly diverse musical interests,” he said. “I hope folks from the community come to share this experience.”

Araki’s visit will benefit IU Kokomo students through the learning opportunity that comes from speaking with him, learning the history of his instrument, and hearing him play, according to Gregory Steel, associate professor of fine arts. Steel has been a student of Araki’s for about a year, which inspired him to invite the musician to campus.

Steel described Araki’s music as “hauntingly beautiful”, adding that it will liven up the IU Kokomo campus and the Kokomo community. 

During his career, Araki has released 12 albums, and has appeared at numerous Celtic festivals across the country. He has also been invited to perform with the Seattle Symphony and for the Japanese Consul General. 

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