Jon Kypros is a shakuhachi craftsman, teacher, author, and the creator of The Bell Shakuhachi. Jon focuses on crafting “natural bore” jinashi and jimori type shakuhachi. To begin, Jon first harvests his own Madaké bamboo…
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Jon Kypros (Κυπριανός Χαράλαμπος ジョン キプロス b. 12-31-1985)
Jon is somewhat unusual, in that he entered the world of the shakuhachi as a bamboo flute maker. In 2003, at the age of seventeen, Jon took a piece of bamboo and crafted the first flute he’d ever played. He quickly became enthralled with creating a wide array of bamboo flutes, mostly from stock he harvested himself. He then began selling his instruments as his sole source of income. A year later, Jon crafted his first shakuhachi from a piece of bamboo he had harvested. The experience of playing even such a humble first attempt was like nothing he had encountered before.
In 2005, with what little money he had saved from selling his bamboo flutes, Jon took the leap and moved to New York City to study shakuhachi. From 2005 to 2008 he was the student of Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin and Kurahashi Yodo II. Upon entering the shakuhachi community, Jon was surprised by the exceedingly expensive instruments for sale and by the dominance of jiari shakuhachi. This caused him to think of how he might help to make quality jinashi and jimori shakuhachi more prevalent and affordable. He began looking into the various copying methods used to make jiari shakuhachi to see if they could be applied to jinashi and jimori. In 2007, he unknowingly became the first to ever copy the inner bore of a jinashi shakuhachi via molding.
In 2010, Jon became the student of Justin Senryu Williams and would go on to spend nearly a decade under his tutelage. Justin’s instruction proved pivotal for Jon, both as a player and craftsman. In 2012, Jon realized his dream of creating the world’s first complete copy of a jinashi shakuhachi which he called, The Bell Shakuhachi (1.8 D). He sold a modest amount but ceased crafting them to further refine his process. After years of hard work, Jon released the new Bell Shakuhachi in late 2018. Jon’s Bell Shakuhachi are now played by practitioners all around the world. Jon continues to explore the inexhaustible depths of the shakuhachi with the same spirit as his early days of crafting bamboo flutes.
Jon has studied the following styles of shakuhachi Honkyoku and Sankyoku
Under Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin and Kurahashi Yodo II
•Jin Nyodo Honkyoku, in addition to Sankyoku ensemble music
Under Justin Senryu
•The 10 Kinpu Ryu (aka. Nezasa-ha) Honkyoku and select pieces in alternate keys (Urajoshi)
•The 11 Seien Ryu Fudaiji Honkyoku
•The core 25 Myoan Shimpo Ryu Honkyoku
•3 Myoan Taizan Ha pieces in the lineage of Miyagawa Nyozan (Choshi, Takiochi, and his master work Ajikan)
•Select pieces from Kinko Ryu, Ikkan Ryu (see Kinko Ryu), Kyushu Kei, and Oshu kei
•Various Honkyoku composed by Watazumi (Dokyoku)
•A number of other Honkyoku which have either unknown or diverse origins