New York based composer/pianist Shoko Nagai’s grant commissioned project “EPHEMERAL” explores the essence of Japanese traditional music, such as Gagaku (the oldest classical music in Japan) and the sound of Nohgaku (abstract theater) with the elements of the contemporary western music, experimental electronic music and improvisations. Her compositions with its use of multiple textures and the open sense of time evokes another realm of time and place. She will be joined by Ned Rothenberg (shakuhachi, clarinet, bass clarinet), Jennifer Choi (violin), Reuben Radding (bass) and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion, electronics).
Born in Nagoya, Japan, composer and pianist Shoko Nagai moved to New York City in 1999 and quickly established herself in the downtown jazz scene performing with such renowned artists as John Zorn, Rasheid Ali, Buch Morris,Tom Rainy, Cuong Vu, Ikue Mori, Roy Champbell, Satoshi Takeishi, Trevor Dunn, Matana Roberts, Daniel Carter to name a few. The Shoko Nagai Quintet which features some of New York’s best musicians has performed extensively at the BlueNote, Tonic, The stone, Location One,Vision Festival as well as at other top New York clubs and concert. Nagai released her first CD “Two levels Crossing” in 2000, 2nd CD “VORTEX” in 2002, 3rd. CD “Vsoon” in 2003. Nagai has performed in Norway (Natt Jazz Festival 1998) in Germany (Moers Jazz Festival 2006), Japan, Switzerland, Israel and United States. In 2005, she received a grant from Philadelphia Music Project 2005 Grant for a project in which seven jazz artists compose and premiere compositions that incorporate musical traditions from their cultural roots, and formed a new project “Ephemeral” with Ned Rothenberg (Shakuhachi, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet), Jennifer Choi (Violin), Stomu Takeishi (E.Bass), Satoshi Takeishi( Japanese percussion, electronics). Her most recent project is”Vortex” which is a free improvisation duo with Satoshi Takeishi on electronics. They scored music for a full feature Japanese film called”Star Fish Hotel” (directed by John Williams) which is to be released in 2007 world wide.