Jeff Cairns began prodding at the fabric of the universe at the tender age of 7 using the Scottish Great Pipes as his instrument of choice. After making competitive appearances in pipe bands the likes of St. Andrews in Detroit, 48th Highlanders in Toronto and The RCAF Pipe band, he gave up that world to join his peers in strumming Neil Young songs on Friday nights. Growing tired of that and concurrently becoming hooked on the raw freedom found in the jazz/rock fusion that sprang out of Miles Davis and carried on by Joe Zawinul in his legendary band Weather Report. as well as the work of Chick Corea in his ground breaking band Return to Forever, he dove head first into the transverse flute and soprano saxophone. Playing for several years in the aspiring and admittedly ahead-of-its-time band, Vector along with renowned Toronto guitarist Grant Crawford pointed the way to all that was to come. In due time he found himself on the shores of Japan and a new life. From that point in 1986, his love for the Japanese traditional bamboo flute, the Shakuhachi, took root. He progressed under the guidance of Kinko-ryu master Tsurugi Kodo to the point that he finds himself today, performing and teaching in the Kumamoto area, as well as taking yearly excursions into the central Kyushu mountains to find madake bamboo appropriate for making shakuhachi.. Aside from his interests in the traditional side of Japanese music and culture he has pursued his love for improvisational/experimental/jazz/funk/rock/fusion music with the likes of bassist/shakuhachiist/uilleann piper/whistler James Hunter in the Kumamoto, Japan based bands Pink Lame', Lumpy Futon, Lumpy Futon Big Band and Fifth Fourths. After James left for bigger and better things, Jeff found acoustic guitarist Darby Stands. Together they drew up a great deal of courage and put out their first CD 'Shirakawa'. After Darby left for warmer climes, Jeff was fortunate to make the acquaintance of guitarist/sound crafter/haiku poet Richard Gilbert. That relationship continues to be productive and exploratory. The first CD by the Kumamoto based enigma Mother Tongue entitled ' Lip Service' was released which included within its ranks Jeff Cairns, Richard Gilbert and James Hunter. Aside from his current foray with Richard, Jeff has played in several other jazz/improvisation oriented bands in the Kumamoto area including Beauties of Nature, Mist Tree Music, Undercover Funk Service and Men With Toys, the last two bands headed by renowned Kumamoto jazz sax player Kohji Hayama. He is now thinking about all of this and wondering what it means.


Instruments: 1.8 (Turugi Kyomudo) and 2.4 shakuachi, bawu, di tzu, didgeridoo, low D whistle, C whistle, Bb whistle, Scottish fireside pipes, Cannonball Big Bell Global Series curved soprano sax, Yamaha YAS-61 Alto sax, C and F# bansuri, bamboo baritone sax, ocarina, bamboo jaw harp, udu, Yamaha DTExpress drums, Roland XP50 workstation

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