Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Portland, ME Benefit/Celebration concert :: Aug 28th :: 8pm

Our Portland friends are pulling together an upcoming concert. Hope to see you there!

Save the date! August 28th 8PM

Benefit Concert/Celebration
for the Phil James Family Emergency Fund

Saturday, August 28, 8pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
580 Forest Ave, Portland

Admission by donation

Phil Nyokai James – shakuhachi and piano
Carl Dimow – flute
Nathan Kolosko – classical guitar
Danielle Langord – celtic harp
Nicole Rabata – celtic flute
Mark Tipton – jazz trumpet
Marita Kennedy-Castro – dance

For more information: Carl Dimow – 207-615-1550, cdimow@earthlink.net

Phil Nyokai James is a recognized master of the Japanese flute, the shakuhachi, and also a wonderful pianist and composer. While driving from the Grand Canyon in Arizona this past January, Phil had a major stroke. Paralyzed, he lost control of the car. Sitting in the passenger seat next to him was his wife, Lara, seven months pregnant. In an incredible rush of adrenaline, Lara gained control of the car and prevented the family from heading off the icy road into the mountains. Far from any town and without phone reception, Lara pulled Phil from the driver’s seat and she drove until she saw headlights - and connected Phil with medical care.

Phil was initially very far gone and in acute rehab for weeks. He had minimal speech and no ability to read or write. His recovery has been slow, but steady. He and Lara were able to return to their home in Portland at the end of February, and Lara gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Julian, in early April.

At this point in time, Phil has regained a lot of physical control but still has aphasia and is working to regain his full speech capacity. Amazingly, and thanks to daily encouragement from Lara, he began playing shakuhachi within a week of the stroke. His musician friends have been stunned with how little the stroke affected his musical skills. Nevertheless, he is still recovering and has not been ready to return to a work life of teaching and performing. The family is struggling financially.

This concert is to raise money for Phil, Lara and Julian, but it’s also a celebration. This will be Phil’s first public performance since the stroke. He’ll be joined by a number of luminaries from various ends of the Portland music scene: Nicole Rabata and Danielle Langord playing celtic music; Carl Dimow and Nathan Kolosko playing Brazilian music; the wonderful jazz trumpet playing of Mark Tipton; and the exciting dancing of Marita Kennedy-Castro. The musicians will be working in a variety of combinations and Phil will appear as a soloist and with a variety of ensembles. This promises to be a unique, special and entertaining evening.

For more about Phil, the composer, performer and writer:


  1. Wish we could attend, sounds fantastic. I hope the concert is beneficial in many spheres.

  2. Hi!
    i only just got your card today- it was forwarded to me in Stokholm from Philadelphia. I moved to Sweden many months earlier than I expected to, and have been here now for a little over two months.

    I will come to the East Coast for a visit at some point though, and when I do I will most DEFINITELY be makin´ it a point to schedule some time to come up to portland and see phil, and play some music if he´s game.

    I have thought about phil lately, actually, as I try to learn Swedish. i think of what he might be working on when i experience a teeny, tiny bit of what it might be like to have something to say and not actually have words ready quick enough to say it. Every time this thought occurs to me, i try and send some good energy your guys´ way.

    Eh, thats a beautiful picture there :) i hope the concert goes stellar lovely well. I will post it to my facebook status for anyone in the area to go and hear some music and help out the good cause of Ya´ll :)

    huge love from stockholm!
    katt hernandez

  3. We'll be thinking about you three. Hope you all have a great time! xoxo

  4. Can't attend in Person? Purchase an empty Zen Seat™ for the concert, ONLY $10 each! Order as many as you like!

    "They're Zen! They're Empty! They're Zen Seats™ !!!"

    TO ORDER YOUR Zen Seats™ for the Aug. 28 Phil Nyokai James Benefit/Celebration GO TO:

    http://homegrown-hope.blogspot.com/ and donate on the Phil James Family Emergency Fund PayPal button.