photo, left: Murasaki Ensemble; right: Masahiro NittaA selection of contemporary to modern works featuring Japanese instruments, shamisen, koto and shakuhachi, composed by the featured artists.The Murasaki Ensemble is a musical experience of sounds unlike any otherâ€”elements of traditional Far Eastern subtleties, Near Eastern, and Latin American rhythms with improvisational jazz converging, producing a sound that is extremely vibrant and innovative yet still familiar. For this performance, they are joined by Masahiro Nitta, who has been dubbed â€œthe greatest shamisen player in the world.â€ Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido in 1984, Masahiro Nitta started to play tsugaru shamisen at the age of fourteen from the influence of his father, Hiroshi Nitta. Masahiro learned how to play shamisen in an unbelievably short time of only seven months. Soon after, he won a championship at the junior high and high school division in nationwide contests. Since then, Masahiro dominated national tsugaru shamisen tournaments in 2000, 2001 and 2002.