Phil Nyokai James
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Phil Nyokai James

Band World New Age


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"From a classical music journal..."

With the carefully placed pauses and the way his breath moves the sound through the shakuhachi, one can sense upon first hearing that Phil James' relationship to music and his surroundings are nothing less than spiritually profound. His playing and compositions are always deeply communicative and highly sensual. - NewMusicBox

"About one of my CDs..."

Phil James succeeds in giving the breath of life to this rich and surprising music. - All Music Guide

"Another CD review"

...haunting examples of soundscapes that make you think of the sea, dark nights, fog rolling in from the ocean, far-off lands and then more eerie stuff, chilling, rumbling, echoing and then entering a new dimension where few have dared tread. - CD Services

"From composer Stuart Dempster"

Phil James performs a beautiful and profound set ranging from the earliest known shakuhachi pieces to an homage to John Coltrane. First Places provides the listener with spiritual nourishment bordering on the sacred. - Sparkling Beatnik Records


Already Gone - Sparkling Beatnik, 1998
First Places - Sparkling Beatnik, 2001
clips of my playing available at my web site,


Feeling a bit camera shy


I am one of only a handful of American masters of the shakuhachi. I have performed traditional shakuhachi music at colleges, concert halls, cafes, galleries and festivals around the country. I also sit in often with musicians in completely different genres, for example the Violent Femmes, Laurie Anderson, and the experimental jazz band BCR. You can read more about me at my website,, which also includes a link to a recent radio show about me.