Phil Nyokai James

Phil Nyokai James

BandWorldNew Age

I perform traditional Japanese music for the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute that's noted for its haunting meditative sound.


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.


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

Set List

I usually perform a balance of traditional meditative Japanese shakuhachi pieces and original compositions.