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Yuki Easter and Mary Lu Brandwein (courtesy photo)

Unique Instruments, Sounds at Mission Trails Regional Park Sunday Concert

San Diego CA— Exotic sounds from across the Pacific Ocean will be brought to life on Sunday when the Mission Trails Regional Park hosts a trio of talented musicians specializing in Japanese instruments and musical stylings.

(courtesy photo)

(courtesy photo)

The Sunday concert will be held at 3 p.m., May 17 at the Visitor Center theater at Mission Trails Regional Park, allowing for an intimate setting and a rich, acoustically-enhanced listening experience for the audience. The concert will be free for guests, though space is limited and concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early to the event.

Three young women will play two different Japanese instruments named the koto and the shakuhachi. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument first invented in the 7th century. Many western audiences were first exposed to the koto after the song “Lateralus” by Grammy-winning band Tool was covered by a koto ensemble on YouTube. The shakuhachi is a traditional Japanese bamboo flute that was first introduced into Japan from China in the 6th century. The instrument was first used by Buddhist monks to aid in meditation.

Mary Lu Brandwein is an accomplished shakuhachi player who has spent decades perfecting the art of the shakuhachi. She studied with the late shakuhachi master Masakazu Yoshizawa for 25 years and has toured the country performing in venues large and small.

Koto player Yuki Easter has been a koto instructor for nearly 20 years. She has received awards from renowned koto Grand Masters in Japan and is a member of the Japanese Artist and Musician Society of San Diego. Easter founded the Southern California Koto Ensemble and teaches today in San Diego and Riverside counties.

Koto student Kumiko Esparza will join these two accomplished musicians on stage. Currently under the tutelage of Yuki Easter, Esparza is also a member of the Southern Koto Ensemble out of Murrieta.

The concert is part of Mission Trail Regional Park Foundation’s free concert series, designed to showcase Mission Trails Regional Park as San Diego’s premiere educational and recreational resource. Admission is free. More information about the concert, as well as the park, can be found at www.mtrp.org