John Kaizan Neptune


John "Kaizan" Neptune has expanded the possibilities of the Japanese shakuhachi flute to embrace the realms of jazz and fusion. As the same time, through many long years of training in the classical repertoire of the instrument, he has become one of the most outstanding exponents of the shakuhachi currently active in Japan. He is joined by musicians who together create music which transcends national boundaries and the origins of the instruments which they perform. It is surely music such as this which deserves the label of "World Music" and which is likely to serve as a stepping stone towards the music of the future.

Akira Ebato, University Ethnomusicologist

"Neptune's love of jazz is overshadowed only by his passionate involvement with the shakuhachi itself. The feeling... is very natural, without forced imagination. He takes the shortest distant to jazz without artifice."

Yozo Iwanami, Japanese Music Critic

"Neptune has brought to the shakuhachi a variety of new techniques which have propelled him to the forefront of virtuoso performers, bringing to the fingering of the instrument the rhythmic cadences that a professional drummer commands and breaking new ground in exploiting that most flexible of all flute embouchurements, the shakuhachi "uta-guchi." These new capabilities of the instrument are being systematically explored in Neptune's compositions."

Dan Mayers, President and Founder of the International Shakuhachi Society

"We Japanese might often consider the shakuhachi an old-fashioned instrument, one inferior in function compared with Western instruments, in spite of our familiarity with what it can sound like when well-played. John Kaizan Neptune, a young American shakuhachi player who is also a talented composer... is not a prisoner of this view."

Hisamitsu Noguch, Japanese Music Critic

At times the rhythm section sounded as much Latin or Afro-Cuban as American or Asian. The walls are crumbling, and if results of this caliber can be achieved, we may as well stop worrying about categories."

Leonard Feather, Jazz Critic