Tsugaru shamisen is a three-stringed instrument which has its origins in the Tsugaru region of Aomori, Japan.  The earliest form of shamisen made its way from China to Okinawa, Japan, in the 16th century.  Of the three most common types of shamisen in Japan, the tsugaru shamisen is the largest…
The koto is a traditional Japanese 13-stringed zither, the national instrument of Japan.  It has a centuries-old history, dating back to the 7th and 8th century when it was introduced to Japan via China, and was used in the gagaku court music of the aristocrats.  In the 17th century, blind…
The Thai Community Arts and Cultural Center was founded in 1992, for the purpose of preserving and promoting Thai arts and culture in the United States.  The organization is based in Los Angeles, whose population of Thai and Thai-descended people is the largest one of outside…
Hindustani or North Indian classical music, a tradition that originated in the Vedic ritual chants, has been evolving since the 12th century.  The sarod (or sarode) is a 25-stringed fretless instrument, used mainly in Indian classical music.  Along with the sitar, it is among the most popular and prominent instruments…
For the past decade, MESTO (Multi-Ethnic Star Orchestra) has engaged the Arabic community in Southern California by providing high-quality concerts, live events, and educational programs.  MESTO combines the melodies and rhythms of the Middle East within a Western symphonic setting, creating a unique blnd of these musical traditions.  MESTO accomplishes…
Theatre of Yugen is an experimental ensemble dedicated to the pursuit of the intanglible essence of yugen (yu: deep, quiet, otherworldly; gen: subtle, profound, dark).  With a foundation in Japanese noh drama and kyogen comedy, Theatre of Yugen creates works of world theater by crafting original…
Filipino American arts, culture, and advocacy
The Modesto Cambodian Buddhist Society is a beacon for the Khmer community, preserving the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Cambodian people and supporting sustainable progress for growth and prosperity. With its support, the Cambodian classical dance troupe grew from six beginners to 40 trained dancers.
Cantonese Opera Association-Silicon Valley, a nonprofit organization established in 2001, is a presenter and educator of the most well-known and popular type of Chinese Opera.  There are over 300 different opera styles in China, relative to the region from which they originate.  Cantonese opera music is a blend of classical…
Orgilsaikhan Chimeddorj, Ulziisaikhan Lkhagadorjv, and Otgonbaya Chunsraikhachin — members of the Mongolian traditional music ensemble Nutgiin Alyaguu — graduated from the Music Conservatory of Mongolia, the country’s most prestigious music school.  Ulziisaikhan Lkhagvadorjv is a particularly well-known and respected performer; he is proficient in five Mongolian instruments and the rare…