Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire with Lindsay Straw and Owen Marshall
Award-winning Irish flute player and singer Hanz Araki is the quintessential world music musician. After six generations, the name Araki is synonymous with the Japanese shakuhachi (an end-blown bamboo flute) which Hanz mastered, making his professional debut in 1988.
After four years of concert appearances and teaching at the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, Hanz returned to his hometown of Seattle, WA and found himself drawn to the world of Celtic music. The penny-whistle and the Irish flute became his single-minded focus, and jigs and reels became a second language. His unique style and passion laid a path to a twenty-year career in Irish music.
Hanz also discovered his voice was well-suited to the songs of Scotland, Ireland, and England. He is highly regarded for his interpretation of folk songs, many considering him one of the finest singers in this exciting and living tradition.
After several tours across the US, Canada, and the UK (first with the Juno Award winning Paperboys, then Casey Neill) as well as a return to Japan, now as a well-respected Irish flute-player and singer, Hanz moved to Portland, Oregon in 2006. This move proved to be most fortuitous as it led to the musical partnership with Kathryn Claire.
A self-taught guitarist and accomplished vocalist and fiddle-player, Kathryn has asserted herself in a new generation of traditionally-inspired musicians. Her violin-playing exhibits a technical grace which is matched only by her truly captivating voice. While she possesses the rare ability to move seamlessly across genres, her love and deep respect for traditional music has long been a driving influence, and those roots can be heard in her own original music.
Early classical training gave her a strong foundation, but naturally gave way to her own creative inclinations. Kathryn taught herself guitar at a young age in order to explore her own voice as a songwriter and accompanist and has developed a hypnotic, driving accompaniment style. She has spent years cultivating her craft as an instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter.
Kathryn and Hanz quickly discovered their shared love of harmony, and a creative process began that has produced a tremendous body of work. Their shared passion for traditional music is magnetic and they have become a favorite at music festivals and venues in the US and abroad. http://www.thecelticconspiracy.com
A native Montanan and a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Lindsay Straw is a bright young star in the Irish music world. She brings a lovely sensitivity and style to her back-up playing on bouzouki and guitar. A gifted singer too, she deeply honors the tradition in her interpretations, yet brings something subtly youthful and personal to the music. Lindsay is also a composer and arranger, and plays with the Boston-based group, The Ivy Leaf. http://lindsaystraw.com
Tickets: $12, members $10