The Roots Channel
Music and Arts from the Ground Up
Live From Empty Sea: Hanz Araki & Cary Novotny
Portland-based Irish music stars Hanz Araki and Cary Novotny take the stage to share a night of tunes and songs live from Empty Sea Studios.
Award-winning Irish flute player and singer Hanz Araki is the quintessential world music musician. After six generations, the name Araki is synonymous with the Japanese shakuhachi (an end-blown bamboo flute) which Hanz mastered, making his professional debut in 1988. After four years of concert appearances and teaching at the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, Hanz returned to his hometown of Seattle, WA and found himself drawn to the world of Celtic music. The penny-whistle and the Irish flute became his single-minded focus, and jigs and reels became a second language. His unique style and passion laid a path to a twenty-year career in Irish music. Hanz also discovered his voice was well-suited to the songs of Scotland, Ireland, and England. He is highly regarded for his interpretation of folk songs, many considering him one of the finest singers in this exciting and living tradition. Several tours across the US, Canada, and the UK (first with the Juno Award winning Paperboys, then Casey Neill) led to a return to Japan, now as a well-respected Irish flute-player and singer. In 2006, Hanz moved to Portland, Oregon, home to guitar-player Cary Novotny. Cary has been actively involved in the Irish music scene for 20 years. His trademark sound has made him one of the most in-demand guitar players in Irish music today. With unerring rhythm, boundless energy and versatility, he varies from breakneck speed to delicate finger-style in the blink of an eye. Cary was a founding member of former Lord of the Dance fiddle-duo, The Bridies, Johnny B Connolly’s Bridgetown, and Portland’s venerable Irish band Cul an Ti.