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.
Cornelius Boots is a certified Dai Shihan (grandmaster) of Zen shakuhachi and an award-winning composer. A lifelong woodwind performance innovator, Boots also earned three music degrees from the renowned Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and has released over 12 albums as a leader and written over 100 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).