Riley Lee©Karen Steains_KSP1749BW

Riley Lee

Shakuhachi Soloist and Taikoz Artistic Administrator

Riley co-founded Taikoz in 1997. He began playing the shakuhachi in 1971 as a student of Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and with Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984. In 1980, he became the first non-Japanese to attain the rank of dai shihan or Grand Master, and from 1973 was the first non-Japanese to play taiko professionally by touring internationally as a full-time performer with Ondekoza. Riley completed his BA and MA degrees in music at the University of Hawai’i, and received his PhD degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Sydney. In 2003, 2009 and 2011, he was made Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.