Co-founded by Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos and Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, Maru is blazing new trails through the organic combination of the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and taiko (Japanese drums).  With an emphasis on improvisation, the group freely integrates elements from Japanese folk, classical, and festival music as well as jazz, rock, ambient, and a wide range of world music influences.   Maru incorporates the Japanese concept of ma, or interval, to highlight their ceaseless exploration of new textures and to create both affinity and contrast between eastern and western impressions.  

Additional instruments of Maru include shinobue (Japanese transverse flute), biwa (Japanese lute), Australian didgeridoo, Armenian duduk, koto, vocals, vibraphone, drumset, and an array of percussion sounds.  With extensive training in Japanese traditional music as well as European classical music and jazz, Ryuzen and Hunter-Ishikawa strive to respect history while making use of unconventional techniques in creating original work.  Deeply inspired by Japanese festival music, lullabies, and meditation, these highly experienced performers will take you on a journey of sound that will move your body and soul.

Performer biographies:
Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa


What audiences are saying:

“Maru's innovative layering of tonal and percussive textures creates a rich, invigorating sound that captivates the soul.  The duo's musical versatility and technical finesse enables a complex interplay of rhythms, melody and timbres.  It is a treat to experience the diversity of music that Eien and Alcvin weave together.” - K. S.
"I always look forward to hearing Maru perform.  They are captivating and have a wonderful combination of skill and creativity." - G. M.
“Thank you very much for your wonderful performance at my wedding!!  All of our family and friends were absolutely delighted!  I was moved by your combination of refined Japanese aesthetic and intensity of the taiko drums!!” - M. M.

Past performances:

Powell Street Festival 
Nikkei Matsuri with Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Tsugaru shamisen
Dancing on the Edge Festival EN: a raincity street dance
Summer Odori with Otowa Ryu Japanese Dance
Museum of Anthropology Voices of Hiroshima
Cherry Blossom Festival Van Dusen Garden
Tohoku Fundraiser Victoria, BC
Pacific National Exhibition Vancouver, BC
BC Arts Council Gala