Music Notes: Japan embraces Pitt grad's music
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A 26-year-old Pittsburgh native is nearing the top of the Japanese pop charts for his take on the country's folk music, called "enka."
Jerome White Jr.'s song "Umiyuki" was the No. 3 single in Japan last week and the first enka song to chart by an African-American singer. White -- who performs as "Jero" -- learned the traditional music style, which is thematically similar to American country music, from his Japanese grandmother.
White graduated from Pitt in 2003 with a degree in information science and participated in the schools' exchange program with Kansai Gaidai University, according to Pitt's Asian Studies Center. While working as an English teacher and computer engineer in Japan he was signed to a record deal after winning the top prize in an enka singing contest.
-- Tim McNulty,Post-Gazette cultural arts reporter
Ever wanted to learn to play an instrument that's been used since 5000 B.C.?
Free lessons on the Ney, an ancient reed flute, are being offered weekly at Carnegie Mellon University beginning tonight at 6:30 by CMU's Rumi Dialogue Club and the Pittsburgh Dialogue Foundation. Free plastic Neys are available to beginners.
The Ney, which is the closest of all wind instruments to the human sound, has a significant place as a symbol in Sufi teaching, especially in Rumi's writings, and in the Whirling Dervishes ceremony.
As tradition goes, how to play on the Ney is not taught for money; the only cost expected is the responsibility of teaching others how to play.
For details and to register: email@example.com.
First Published February 29, 2008 12:00 am