David Wheeler lived in Japan for twenty years studying and performing the shakuhachi with some of Japan's finest traditional masters and ensembles, beginning in Tokyo in 1977 with Junsuke Kawase III, head of the Chikuyu-sha school of Kinko Style classical shakuhachi performance.

In 2008, in recognition of three decades of international performing, production and teaching activities, he received the performance name Kansuke II. Kansuke’s professional career started in Tokyo, and has since taken him all over Japan and around the world. He has had a central role in every major world shakuhachi festival since the first in Bisei, Japan in 1994, and including Boulder (98), Tokyo (02), New York (04) and Sidney (08). Since 1999, he has annually presented the Shakuhachi Summer Camp of the Rockies, featuring faculty from Japan, Australia and the US, and attended by students from North America and Japan. Kansuke’s work aims at crossing musical and artistic barriers both within and outside of the Japanese traditional performing arts world. He was a Japan Foundation Lecturer of World Music at CU Boulder in 1997-98, and also lectures at Naropa University. He now teaches and performs from a base in Boulder.


David Wheeler - Kansuke II Biography