Soapbox Gallery to Live Stream Shakuhachi Performance by James Nyoraku Schlefer

Breathing Peace V

Monday, January 18 from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Live Streamed from Soapbox Gallery

Admission: Pay what you can

Shakuhachi Grand Master James Nyoraku Schlefer performs the fifth in a series of concerts devoted to traditional music for shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute. Long associated with Zen Buddhist meditation practice, the haunting and powerful sounds of the shakuhachi bring a powerful calmness to the environment. Together, performer and audience create time and space for breathing and contemplation.

The concert will take place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day to commemorate a great leader who worked and sacrificed for racial justice through non-violent protest. The artist invites you to take one hour to breathe deeply, listen to the music of Zen, and contemplate a more peaceful and compassionate world.

Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn will live stream Breathing Peace V. This is a donation-based event with a split box office. Schlefer will donate his half of the proceeds to Food Bank for New York City, which continues to provide crucial, compassionate outreach by feeding New York City’s neediest. Contributions from attendees will help feed the hungry and support Soapbox Gallery, which has done so much to keep live music alive during the pandemic.

The concert will remain available to view for 72 hours after the initial broadcast.


Kyo Rei (traditional)
Echigo Reibo (traditional)
Matsukaze (traditional)
Muju Shin Kyoku – composed by Jin Nyodo
Gekko Roteki – composed by Fukuda Rando
Brooklyn Tsuru no Sugomori – composed by James Nyoraku Schlefer

To make a donation to view Breathing Peace V, please visit Soapbox Gallery’s website.

If, like me, you feel anxious and stressed during these troubling times, please pause for a moment and join me in music. We will breathe and relax together.”
—James Nyoraku Schlefer

About James Nyoraku Schlefer

Lifelong Brooklyn resident James Nyoraku Schlefer is a Grand Master of the Japanese shakuhachi flute. He is a virtuoso performer of traditional and contemporary music, an esteemed teacher in the Kinko school, and a ground-breaking composer. Schlefer’s efforts promote and sustain traditional shakuhachi music through performances, lecture/demonstrations, residencies, and concert programming. His original compositions forge new ground with contemporary works for both Japanese and Western instruments and ensembles. In 2015, Musical America International honored him as one of the “30 Top Professionals and Influencers.”

Recently, The New York Times included Schlefer in the article “Five Minutes That Will Make You Love the Flute.”

About the Shakuhachi

The shakuhachi is an end-blown Japanese flute made of bamboo. It was originally played as a form of Zen meditation practice by the Fuke School of Buddhism. This special music has been passed down from teacher to student for many centuries.

About Soapbox Gallery

Soapbox Gallery is dedicated to presenting music, performance, and works of art that engage the issues of our time. The room itself is a beautiful, meditative environment designed with state-of-the art acoustics to showcase exceptional musicianship from around the world. The gallery was founded on the premise that art and culture are powerful reminders of our shared humanity, which can help to shape identity and promote social evolution. The soapbox’s inspiration is that a simple, humble box—on which one stands and delivers a speech—can start a movement and perhaps even help to change the world.

It’s Soapbox Gallery founders’ mission to create space for civil conversation between those with differing views. The intent of their programming is to create a dialogue where everyone has a seat at the table.