About Riley Lee
RILEY LEE — Shakuhachi Soloist | Composer
I began playing shakuhachi in Japan in 1971. My primary teacher was Katsuya Yokoyama. He maintained the perfect balance of being jovial yet extremely strict.
In 1973, I became the first non-Japanese professional taiko player, with Sado no Kuni Ondekoza (now Kodo). I didn’t realise that this was the case until my friend Kenny Endo (a real taiko player) pointed it out to me.
In 1980, I also became the first non-Japanese shakuhachi Grand Master (dai shihan).
Again, I didn’t realise that this was a 'first' at the time. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time.
I have a PhD (ethnomusicology) from Sydney University and an MA from University of Hawai’i. These two degrees took ten years to complete, one year less than the Dai Shihan licence.
I recently created and taught a semester-long course at Princeton University on the mind, memory, meditation and mindfulness and music, based on the latest research in cognitive science.
I have made more than 60 recordings, of music from many genres of music. The music you will find here has been chosen very carefully to fit the themes on this site.
I live with Patricia in Manly NSW, though I spend at least four months every year in the USA and Europe, Not so in 2020.
I still enjoy running long distance. I’m looking forward to join the elite group of "70 and over" marathon runners in 2021.
Entries by Riley Lee
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PO Box 939
Manly NSW Australia 1655