In 2003, I was asked come to Japan to help design and launch an undergraduate vocal course at the jazz college at Senzoku Gakuen in Yokohama, and later, Kawasaki. It was a 4 month appointment that lasted until 2015. In this time at the school, i taught an ensemble class in which we explored music from around the world. A few of the students participated in the work of the class for several years and they began to perform with me, learning my songs and arrangements as well. This group evolved into Ensemble Ningen
Ensemble Ningen have performed with Dana Hanchard at various concerts and peace events in Japan. They joined her in Hiroshima where they celebrated her birthday singing for the world peace gathering held every year on August 6, the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city and 1st nuclear holocaust of the Atomic age. Ensemble Ningen members have sung with me at shrines, temples, churches, jazz clubs and orchestral concerts. Most core members still remain from the early days in Japan. These young professionals have formed a beautiful vocal collective actively supporting each other in challenging times. They continue and are encouraged to make music with the intention to bring balance into their lives and the world.