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A master of the shakuhachi (a Japanese traditional bamboo flute), new age artist Kazu Matsui was born in Tokyo on June 5, 1954. After spending the mid-'70s traveling through Europe and India, he studied ethnic arts at UCLA, returning to Tokyo to teach Educational Theories at Toyoeiwa Woman's University. Matsui concurrently mounted his music career with sessions including Danny O'Keefe's 1979 LP The Global Blues, subsequently appearing on sessions headlined by Ry Cooder (1982's Slide Area) and Joni Mitchell (1985's Dog Eat Dog); he additionally contributed music to a series of major Hollywood features including Willow, Legends of the Fall, and Jumanji, also producing recordings for his wife, keyboardist Keiko Matsui. He issued his debut solo album, Sign of the Snow Crane, in 1989, followed eventually by 1995's Wind, 1997's Tribal Mozart, and its 1999 sequel, Tribal Schubert. In 2002 the atmospheric Bamboo was released, and three years later came Stone Monkey, which featured his shakuhachi mixed with breakbeats. In 2006, another record for his side group, the Kazu Matsui Project, Pioneer, was issued. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi