Posted tagged ‘Music’

Blind Pianist Wins Prestigious Cliburn Award

October 9, 2009

Here is a Friday musical treat for the ninja network.

“Miracle is the only word to describe him. This is truly the act of God.”

These are the words Van Cliburn used to describe Nobuyuki Tsujii, a Japanese pianist who was born blind but with the gift for music. Tsujii-san began playing Jingle Bells on a toy piano his mother gave him at the age of two and began his formal study at the age of 4. By 10 years old, he played with the Century Orchestra Osaka and internationally as well.

The 21 year old Tsujii was recently honored this year as a 2009 gold medalist in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Check out the video below to watch this truly gifted savant play La Campanella at Cliburn.

Derrick Fury Performing this Sunday – Free Show!

August 14, 2009

Attention Houston Ninjas:

We spotlighted one of our friends, Derrick Fury, a few weeks ago regarding his considerable talents as a performer and musician. This weekend, you’ll have the chance to see Derrick perform along with Listener and Fienex locally at Frank-N-Stein’s Bar and Grill on HW6 in the Sugarland area.

The Sunday performance begins at 6pm and is sponsored by Elite MMA as the team’s Official Mixer event. For you ladies out there, what this means for you is an opportunity to meet some in-shape MMA/BJJ Fighters and eligible bachelors, which include many of our own ninjas.

Anyways, I’ll be out there and I’d love it if you joined us! Come say hi when you see me. ツ

Date: August, 16 2009 6:00 PM
Location: Frank N Steins Bar & Grill
Address: 9907 S Highway 6, Sugar Land, Texas 77498 – Free
Details: Performers: Listener, fienix and Derrick Fury.
Cost: Free show, good food and great music.


Ninja Slipper Spotlight – Karen Dezelle

April 25, 2009


n613080491_2895238_2571I recently caught up with Karen Dezelle, a good friend to us since her days in London schooling with original ninja, Jino Manalo. Karen, an adventurist at heart, has since spent several years hanging with us here in Houston before moving on to San Francisco, where she works in advertising and continues to re-invent herself within her burgeoning music career. Read on to see what Karen has been up in the city by the bay.


Hi Karen. We haven’t seen you since December. What have you been up to?

Hello. I have been getting acquainted with a new city and new job. I love them both. I am currently surrounded by moving boxes because I will be moving into a new apartment this weekend. Lots of changes, and everything is turning out better than i could have imagined. 


You moved to San Francisco from Houston, and you were in London and Trinidad previously. What’s it like being such a globe-trotting jetsetter?

I feel really lucky that I have gotten an opportunity to travel and live in different countries. It’s really wonderful being able to meet such a diverse range of people, and see so many places. Abandoning your comfort zone always requires you to re-evaluate your personal truths and perspectives. Moving that way can bring a feeling of displacement or impermanence, but ultimately it gives you the opportunity to develop a new breed of independence, encourages you to celebrate people’s diversity, and reinforces that life is an adventure. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 


What’s the best thing about your current city by the bay? What’s the worse thing about San Francisco?

San Francisco is a city with many faces! It seems like every nook and cranny of this city has its own deviant, unwavering character. It’s fantastic. I think it has something for everyone. The people are laid back and subscribe to an attitude of anything goes. There is never a boring moment. I live in the Marina, so there are sailboats on the bay just beyond my doorstep. The scenery, architecture, and foot traffic have to be my favourite things about SF. It’s hard to think of the worst thing…I suppose I just wish that I could have brought my friends elsewhere here too. (Note an implicit invitation for house guests!)

You’ve been working in marketing/advertising for a few years now. How did you get your start in that industry?

A good friend of mine (read: the legendary Mike Calimbas) opened that door for me. I wanted a career that allowed me to interact with clients, but also required a lot of analysis and creativity. Designing online marketing campaigns fits that description perfectly. It’s a very interdisciplinary field with infinite possibilities and I can’t get enough. (I recently read a book that compares ‘search’ and Google to the Library of Alexandria – both are the fruit of man’s attempt to put all the world’s knowledge in one place. Ideas like that make me inspired to be a part of something as revolutionary as the internet.)


What’s your true passion? We’ve seen a couple of your videos signing online. Tell us a little about that.

Music is definitely one of my passions. It’s been said before, but it’s so true that music transcends barriers and brings people together. It speaks to us when words fail. It’s a creative medium that allows a form of expression that is often more true to what we are trying to communicate. Its sensory, political, thought-provoking, timeless. It captures the essence of our humanity.  I have always loved to sing. To me, singing is the ultimate act of rejoicing. We have a lot to be joyful about, and I guess that’s why i love to sing. (but…I guess people could say the same about dancing, and I can’t dance at all….;) 

What’s your current dream?

I am still figuring that out. I want to have a family one day- that’s one of my dreams. I would love to do what my parents did. They built a life together and created this wonderful little corner of the world for their children. I can only hope to do the same. Other dreams include writing an album, a novel, travelling, inventing something….but nothing stands out to me more than achieving what my parents did so gracefully. 


What else do you do for fun?

Hmmm…lots of things! Singing and playing guitar, going to yoga and running, being outside, watching the sailboats, writing down letters to no one, making lists, conducting research to assess whether organic food is really worth the extra cash, crosswords, developing a closet obsession with Craigs list, reading all of Paolo Coehlo’s books, happy hours, meeting new people, dressing up, running around town,  bus rides,  going to concerts (next up Kings of Leon), going to the beach, the woods, making plans and resolutions i’ll never stick to, talking to anyone who will listen….hahah…..i could go on…


What’s your idea of a great first date?

Concerts are always a winner. 


Name the most douchebag thing a guy has done to catch your attention.

Showing off his wallet….and proceeding to tell me how his apartment smells of rich mahogony and he has lots of leather bound books and was just overall a really REALLY big deal….. so boring. (…i think i’m paraphrasing from Anchorman..) 


What do you think men need to know?

Nothing matters more than sincerity. That goes for men and women alike. 


What are you doing tonight?


Being fabulous of course….dinner and drinks with friends..should be good. Keep your phone on you, Mike! 

The Lord’s Prayer in Swahili

August 23, 2008

I’ve listened to music all my life. Most of what is in my collection, ipod, or closet floor is NOT what I would consider art. But every once you find art. Today, I will share one of those with you.

It’s called “Baba Yetu” – a setting of the text of the “Lord’s prayer” in Swahili, by a composer named Christopher Tin. It’s actually a song composed for a computer game, Civilization 4.

And interestingly enough, this song is actually the literal Swahili translation for the most famous Christian prayer of all time.

Thing song is beautiful. Truly a piece of art. Listen or download here.

Hippie Haven in Houston

August 12, 2008

Relaxing amongst hippies, hulu hoopers, babes, and bongo players is pretty awesome sometimes. Here are some pics from our impromptu outing to Last Concert Cafe last week.