In your own words, what is your ethnic identity? (for individuals)
Japanese and American
Your Artistic Background/Mission
The Kitsune Ensemble is an improvising chamber group dedicated to the performance of compositions inspired by Japanese cultural, artistic, and historical themes. The ensemble is comprised of Japanese and American musicians based in New York City.
The Kitsune Ensemble is: Billy Fox (director/composer), Yayoi Ikawa (piano), John Savage (flute), Arei Sekiguchi (drums), Gary Pickard (clarinet, bass clarinet), Yoshi Waki (bass), Christopher Hoffman (cello), and Yusuke Yamamoto (vibraphone)... along with alumni Tim Collins (vibraphone) and Yasushi Nakamura (bass).
We have performed at the Kennedy Center, the Planet Arlington world music series, and the Spring Fever Festival. As individuals, the musicians have worked with Andrew Hill, Mark Dresser, Reggie Workman, Shunzo Ohno, Henry Threadgill, Otomo Yoshihide, Butch Morris, Edmar Castaneda, Junior Mance, Cassandra Wilson, Steve Coleman, John Abercrombie, and many others.
“The Kaidan Suite,” a musical recreation of hyakumonogatari kaidankai (ghost stories told by diminishing candlelight) was released on Gozen Reiji Records in 2006. A film of the multidisciplinary staging of "The Kaidan Suite" created by theatre directors Tomi Tsunoda and Andrew Scoville, was completed in 2009.
Director/composer Billy Fox has received the American Composer’s Forum McKnight Visiting Composer fellowship, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s MCAF performance grant, composition commissions from the Puffin Foundation and the MacPhail Center for Music, and was first-runner-up for travel/research grants from the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the Jerome Foundation. His debut album as a leader, “The Uncle Wiggly Suite” (featuring Mark Dresser) is available on Clean Feed Records, and features Kitsune Ensemble members John Savage, Gary Pickard, and Christopher Hoffman. His sophomore release for Clean Feed, “Dulces,” will be released in late 2010 and features members Gary Pickard and Arei Sekiguchi.
Your Creative Influences
Experimental jazz and classical informed by Japanese musical and narrative traditions.
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