John Zorn Celebrates His 60th Birthday With Ryuichi Sakamoto

As New York’s Japan Society heads into its kanreki (translation: 60th) season this fall, the center has asked downtown icon John Zorn and composer/recurring Fennesz collaborator Ryuichi Sakamoto to set off its performing arts program on October 4th with back-to-back improv sets.

“It’s more than coincidence that John celebrates his kanreki at the same time as ours,” artistic director Yoko Shioya said in a press release. “John’s passion for Japan on all levels is profound, from the numerous artists he’s introduced through his Tzadik music label and the label’s live music concert series that he curated at Japan Society, to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the concerts he organized for Japan around the city raised for victims of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.”

Also of note for Japanese music fans is the March 6th presentation of Shomyo: Buddhist Ritual Chant, a St. Bartholomew’s Church performance featuring two dozen priests.

“Placing shomyo performers in a sacred space so far from their native home,” Shioya explained, “is a perfect evocation of the enduring 60-year mission of our performing arts program: to juxtapose the arts of the East and the West in a fashion that is provocative, educational and affecting.”