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CRS presents Shoko Nagai’s Tokala with violinist Sita Chay & percussionist Satoshi Takeishi

February 18, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST

$10 – $20
Shoko Nagai's TOKALA

CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) presents Shoko Nagai’s TOKALA ensemble featuring Shoko Nagai(piano/accordion), Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) and Sita Chay (violin). Tokala explores the ancient connections between Japan and the Middle East established via the Silk Road; this conduit of cultural and commercial exchange left an imprint that became an integral part of Japanese culture.

Bringing together Japanese and Korean folk, pop music and Middle Eastern music, Tokala illuminates and expands the centuries-old connections between these traditions.

Tickets are $20 ($10 for students) and are available via Eventbrite and at the door (cash only). Proof of vaccination is not required but you are encouraged to wear a mask.

“We have seen the art works, instruments, and other artistic objects from the Persian empire preserved in Imperial storage in Nara, Japan. We can but only imagine what it was like for musicians of Japan to hear the sounds of Persian court music. We are sure that it has left strong imprints deep in the Japanese traditional culture.” — Shoko Nagai

Tokala received a grant from NYFA (New York Fine Arts) for City Artist Corps 2021.


Shoko Nagai is a versatile musical artist who improvises and performs with world-renowned musicians on piano and accordion and composes original scores for films and live performances. As a teenager in her native Japan, Nagai was trained on Yamaha’s electronic organ, the “Electone,” to perform popular music. Since moving to the U.S. from Japan and studying classical, jazz music, and compositions at Berklee, she has adapted her mastery of the keyboard to prepared piano, accordions, and other keyboard instruments, often inspired by the minimalist approach of composer Toru Takemitsu. Whether she is performing Klezmer, Balkan or experimental music, Nagai is a charismatic presence onstage, who hypnotizes audiences with her intense focus and virtuoso sound. http://www.shokonagai.net/

“Whether traipsing over a steady, rolling rhythm or swimming through a collage of abstract sound, Nagai, a pianist, treat every moment as an opportunity for deep synchronicity.” — GIOVANNI RUSSONELL, New York Times

Satoshi Takeishi, drummer, percussionist, and arranger is a native of Mito, Japan. He studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While at Berklee he developed an interest in the music of South America and went to live in Colombia following the invitation of a friend. He spent four years there and forged many musical and personal relationships. One of the projects he worked on while in Colombia was ‘Macumbia’ with composer/arranger Francisco Zumaque in which traditional, jazz and classical music were combined. With this group he performed with the Bogota symphony orchestra to do a series of concerts honoring the music of the most popular composer in Colombia, Lucho Bermudes. In 1986 he returned to Miami, U.S. where he began working as an arranger/producer as well as a performer.

In 1987 he produced ‘Morning Ride’ for jazz flutist Nestor Torres on Polygram Records. His interest expanded to the rhythms and melodies of the Middle East where he studied and performed with Armenian-American oud master Joe Zeytoonian. Since moving to New York in 1991 he has performed and recorded in vast variety of genre, from world music, jazz, contemporary classical music to experimental electronic music with musicians such as Ray Barretto, Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdes, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Eddie Gomez, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Anthony Braxton, Mark Murphy, Herbie Mann, Paul Winter Consort, Rabih Abu Khalil, Erik Friedlander, Ned Rothenberg, MIchael Attias, Shoko Nagai, Paul Giger, Toshiko Akiyoshi Big Band, Ying String Quartet, Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Dhafer Youssef, Lalo Schifrin and Pablo Ziegler to name a few. He continues to explore multi-cultural, electronics and improvisational music with local musicians and composers in New York.

Sita Chay is a violinist, composer, and producer who won a 2017 Latin Grammy Award for Best Mariachi Album, as violinist with the Flor de Toloache. She is also an awardee of New York Foundation for the Arts Women’s Fund, NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, New Music USA’s Creator Development Fund, Joe’s Pub Working Group, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement Grant for various projects she is envisioning. Ms. Chay is the director and a founder of the Korean Shaman Music Ritual, SaaWee, which was received by international critics as a “delicate powerhouse”. For SaaWee, she has interwoven her theatrical experiences from Broadway shows, folkloric spirituality from Korean shaman rituals, and contemporary music flare from New York jazz scenes. SaaWee’s Return of Songbirds debuted at the Lincoln Center as part of #Retartstage project in 2021 and was invited to Ars Electronica Festival 2021. SaaWee won the California Music Video Awards 2022 in Best World Music category. She has appeared as a speaker and a lecturer at Chamber Music America Conference 2019, New York Musical Festival 2018, Seoul National University, Colombia National University, and Joong Ang University.

Sita often performs at artistically acclaimed venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, Apollo Theater,Madison Square Garden, and was invited to the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 2015, London K-Music Festival in 2018, Global Fest 2018 and to the New York Sanjo Festival 2017 and 2018 to premiere her original and commissioned compositions. She has appeared as a guest violinist for critically acclaimed Broadway shows, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Ain’t Too Proud, Hello Dolly, Sweeney Todd, On the Town, Fiddler on the Roof and Sunset Boulevard. Frequent TV and NPR appearances include “Tonight Show”, “Mozart in the Jungle,” and Randy Cohen’s “Person Place Thing”. She has collaborated with such artists as the Lionel Loueke, the Eagles, Kenny Werner, Billy Drewes, Sandeep Das, Frank London, Edward Perez, Balla Kouyate, Emerson String Quartet, Natalia Laforcade, Duksoo Kim, Bette Midler, Alicia Hall Moran, Alan Ferber,Taebaek Lee, Pamela Frank, Nadia Solemo Sonenberg, Frank Huang, and Robert Craft, the student of Stravinsky and Schoenberg. Her album credits include Stereography Project 1st and 2nd album, Miho Hazama’s M Unit “Dancer in Nowhere, Flor de Toloache “Las Caras Lindas.” http://www.sitachay.com

CRS (CENTER FOR REMEMBERING & SHARING) is a spiritual healing and art center founded in 2004 by the writer/lecturer/spiritual counselor Yasuko Kasaki and artist Christopher Pelham. Our mission is guided by A Course in Miracles (ACIM). ACIM says that recognizing that you and your brother are actually one is the only way to experience peace. The mission of CRS is to promote the awareness that limitless creativity lives within each of us. We train minds to recognize the light in themselves and others and provide them opportunities to share their inner vision through the healing and creative arts. Since its founding CRS has provided numerous residencies and performance and exhibition opportunities to artists from all over the world. Currently, CRS is a lead sponsor of M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians), a platform created to empower, elevate, normalize and give visibility to women, non-binary musicians and those of other historically underrepresented gender identities in intersection with race, sexuality, or ability across generations in the US and worldwide, through a radical model of mentorship and musical collaborative commissions. https://crsny.org


February 18, 2023
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EST
$10 – $20
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CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
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CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
41 E 11th St FL11
New York, NY 10003 United States
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