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John Kaizan Neptune


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Neptune was born in Oakland, California, on November 13, 1951 and moved with his family to San Diego, California when he was two. He played trumpet in high school and later was a drummer in a rock band. For college he chose the University of Hawaii, basically for surfing, but also began to study ethnomusicology. “I was interested in learning the Indian tabla,” recalls John, “but at that time in Hawaii there was no one to teach me. My number two choice was the shakuhachi. I was really fascinated because on the high notes it sounds like a flute and on the lower ones it sound husky, almost like a saxophone. And when I found out it was a five-holed flute made from a piece of bamboo— I was hooked!” He began playing in Hawaii with a Japanese Buddhist priest in 1971.

After several years of intense study in Japan, he received the “shi-han”, or master’s certificate in the Tozan School of Shakuhachi. At that time he was awarded the honorary name “Kaizan” which means Sea Mountain.

His third record release, Bamboo was awarded Outstanding Album of the Year for 1980 by the Cultural Affairs Agency of the Japanese Ministry of Education— the first time ever a jazz album or foreign artist has been so honored!!

To date, John has performed live and has toured North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. When he is not recording or performing he his spending time making shakuhachi and other bamboo instruments in his home-workshop in the Japanese countryside.



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  • Vidreven

    He is excellent.

    24 Oct 2010 Reply
  • hearhunter

    Hi ...had anyone still got his early album> Sailing East ,it was recorded on tape..! if you still got that,please let me share,Meanwhile if you got this two track> ( Isn't She Lovely & S F ) that be great,hope you would like to give me a can't buy this is thanks drop me a msn on my mail box

    12 Feb 2009 Reply
  • qannexe3

    this is...different

    5 May 2006 Reply

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