was born in Oakland, California, on November 13, 1951 and moved
with his family to San Diego, California when he was two. He played
trumpet in high school and later was a drummer in a rock band. For
college he chose the University of Hawaii, basically for surfing,
but also began to study ethnomusicology. "I was interested
in learning the Indian tabla," recalls John, "but at that
time in Hawaii there was no one to teach me. My number two choice
was the shakuhachi. I was really fascinated because on the high
notes it sounds like a flute and on the lower ones it sound husky,
almost like a saxophone. And when I found out it was a five-holed
flute made from a piece of bamboo-- I was hooked!" He began
playing in Hawaii with a Japanese Buddhist priest in 1971.
several years of intense study in Japan, he received the "shi-han",
or master's certificate in the Tozan School of Shakuhachi. At that
time he was awarded the honorary name "Kaizan" which means
third record release, Bamboo was awarded Outstanding Album
of the Year for 1980 by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese
Ministry of Education-- the first time ever a jazz album or
foreign artist has been so honored!!
date, John has performed live and has toured North America, Europe,
Australia, and Asia. When he is not recording or performing he his
spending time making shakuhachi and other bamboo instruments in
his home-workshop in the Japanese countryside.