Pennsylvania resident and certified Grandmaster (dai shihan) Cornelius Boots presents the living tradition of shakuhachi — the rare bamboo flute from ancient Japanese Buddhism.  The old monastic repertoire shares the program with robust solo compositions that slowly emerged as the bamboo was integrated into Boots’ original training as a creative jazz woodwinder in the lineage of John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  Meditation, music and nature form the roots of this earthy and ephemeral performing art.  Natural bore (jinashi) and larger, low-pitched flutes (bass or alto) flutes are featured on this program: they provide a strong connection – for both the player and the listener – to a deeper, almost primeval past: echoes from the ancient days of the Earth.

Zen Shakuhachi –
The Living Tradition
with Grandmaster Cornelius Boots

Shakuhachi is an ancient form of vertical bamboo flute that is closely associated with Japanese Zen Buddhism.

Concert/Meditation programs crafted and presented by internationally renowned composer-performer Cornelius Boots feature traditional Buddhist devotional repertoire (or “honkyoku”) sharing the program with original compositions in addition to tasteful arrangements of John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Lee theme music and more. This music is a transmission of the power and vitality of the breath as it both emerges from and connects us to Nature.

Dai Shihan Shakuhachi Certificate for Cornelius Boots 2022

Artist Bio

Cornelius Boots is a certified Dai Shihan (grandmaster) of Zen shakuhachi and an award-winning composer. A lifelong woodwind performance innovator and visionary, Boots also earned three music degrees from the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and has released over 20 albums as a leader and written over 108 compositions for under-represented instruments (bass clarinet and shakuhachi). A finalist in the 2018 World Shakuhachi Competition, he was also a featured performer or presenter that same year at the World Bamboo Congress (Xalapa), the World Shakuhachi Festival (London) and the Sony E3 Conference (LA).

“Exuberant . . . natural anxiety demolisher” — Paste Magazine

Heinz Memorial Chapel Concert 2023 “Underground Sun” original composition

Official Music Video “Green Swampy Water” original composition, forest excursion [music starts at 2:40]

Tokyo Concert 2016 – Sanya 三谷 (dokyoku/Buddhist) honkyoku 本曲 on jinashi Taimu shakuhachi