Worth checking out Hanz Araki who is receiving great reviews for his take on the traditional/folk genre. He is definitely mixing it up quite well and his flute and whistle playing with it's external influence has strong appeal. He has been described as the quintessential world music musician.

While he may be best known for his playing and singing of Celtic music, Hanz Araki's deep roots are in the shakuhachi, the traditional bamboo "Zen flute" of Japan. Hanz (short for Hanzaburo) is the world’s only sixth generation shakuhachi player, following in the footsteps of his father, Kinko Ryu Grand Master Kodo Araki V. With no prior musical training, Hanz took up the shakuhachi at age 17. Under his father’s tutelage, four months later he made his concert debut in Shimoneski, Japan. He went on to teach shakuhachi at Keio University in Tokyo for two years before moving back to his hometown of Seattle in 1992.

There, his mother’s Gaelic roots came into play. He began teaching himself Irish and Scottish tunes on the flute and penny-whistle, inspired by the many excellent pipers and fiddlers in Seattle. His ability on the flute and his uncanny command of traditional songs with his voice quickly made him a fixture of the Irish music scene in America.

He has performed around the world with the Juno Award-winning Paperboys,Casey Neill and an all-star tribute to The Pogues called K.M.R.I.A. alongside members of The Decemberists and REM. He has played with the Seattle Symphony, the University of Washington Wind Ensemble and is featured on more than a dozen recordings and soundtracks, from feature films and documentaries to popular video games.

Check out his new album Wind and Rain www.cdbaby.com

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