303 Netherland Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301


History and Mission Statement: When the two different cultures meet, a new form of art is born. Jazz was created when the African rhythm met the European instruments. The French impressionists such as Manet, Monet, Degas, Bonnard, Lautrec, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Debussy, Proust were all fascinated by the Japanese paintings and the influence was later called "Japonism." When jazz met the Japanese music, the environment was prepared for WaFoo to create a new form of art.

The prototype of the ensemble was formed in 2001 by four Japanese Jazz musicians under the concept of "Beauty of the music across the East and the West." After years of labs and experimental performances, the ensemble won the first grant, Performing Arts Awards, from COAHSI (Council of Arts and Humanities for Staten Island) in 2004 and performed for JuneFest 2004, which is officially a birth of WaFoo. At the same time, the original concept of the ensemble was evolved into WaFoo's mission statement.

"Providing a powerful weapon to promote the mutual understanding between the East and the West, by showing how beautiful and peaceful the music can be when the two different elements are blended each other."

Traditional Japanese arts have been introduced in the United States and its popularity is increasing. Kabuki is played occasionally, Origami is becoming very common, and so is sushi and flower arrangement. The modern Japanese arts, however, have not gained much attention yet because there are not many artists who are committed to perform them. So, there is a call for WaFoo's artistic mission, "Neo-Japonism."

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