Gelb is one of the most active shakuhachi performers and teachers
in North America. He runs the Bay Area shakuhachi School, teaching
traditional and modern music to over 30 students, with branches
in Oakland, San Francisco and Santa Rosa. Although he performs traditional
music (both Japanese and Jewish), he focuses on new and contemporary
His current projects include: The Natto Quartet with Shoko
Hikage (koto), Tim Perkis (computer) and Chris Brown (piano, computer)
(their recent CD has made 3 top ten CD release lists for 2003),
The Wind Trio of Alphaville with Jon Raskin (saxophones)
and Phillip Greenlief (clarinets, saxophones), The Space Between
with Pauline Oliveros (just intonation accordion) and Dana Reason
(piano), A trio with Alex Cline (percussion) and Dana Reason (piano),
and collaborations with dancer/choreographer, Eri Majima. His long
time duet collaboration with bassist, Matthew Sperry was tragically
cut short by Matt's passing in 2003.
Philip Gelb is also a member of two of California's prominent new
music ensembles: The SFSound Ensemble and The Triaxium
Ensemble. In addition he has an active freelance career as an
improviser and is a frequent guest soloist with various ensembles
including the Oakland Symphony, The Seattle Creative Orchestra
and numerous other groups. He has premiered numerous pieces for
shakuhachi solo and in a variety of contexts with other instruments.
Some of the composers he has collaborated with and premiered pieces
by are: Pauline Oliveros, Chris Brown, Dana Reason, Melissa Hui,
Jon Raskin, Phillip Greenlief, Matthew Sperry, Tom Baker, Christian
Asplud, Hugh Livingston, William Ludtke, Yoshiaki Onishi, and Christopher
As a composer himself, he has written music for solo shakuhachi,
for all his own ensembles and for shakuhachi and string ensembles.
He frequently collaborates with choreographers such as Eri Majima,
Koichi Tamano, and June Watanabe. He frequently gives lectures,
demonstrations and performances at many Colleges in North America
such as Stanford, Mills, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Riverside,
U. of the Pacific, U. Florida, Florida State University, Stetson
College, Mcgill University, Rollins College, and Cornish College
of the Arts. He has performed all over the United States and In
Japan, Europe and Canada.
Philip Gelb began studying shakuhachi in 1990 while a graduate student
in Ethnomusicology at Florida State University with Dale Olsen.
He then continued his studies in New York with Ronnie Seldin and
now studies with Yoshio Kurahashi.