Cornelius Boots

CORNELIUS BOOTS (MM, SHIHAN) is an award-winning composer-performer, seasoned teacher and licensed shakuhachi master (Shihan) in the dynamic Zen lineage of Watazumido. In 2001, Boots began exploring the depths of the Zen musical mind and rediscovered the inner art of big breathing bamboo. Active internationally since 1990, he has trained, performed, taught, recorded and lectured in-depth within jazz, rock, blues, metal, chamber, orchestral and Zen traditional music. His music degrees are BM Classical Clarinet '97, BS Audio Recording '97, MM Jazz Studies '99, Shihan Dokyoku '13. In 2012 he was given the professional shakuhachi name 深禅 (Shinzen) “depth Zen,” from his teacher Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould. Boots was the founder of Edmund Welles: the bass clarinet quartet and has been featured on music and consciousness festivals, received awards and commissions, completed over 100 original compositions and arrangements, released 12 full-length albums as a leader and created unique instructional materials as an educator since 1997.

His solo shakuhachi performances are played on traditional and bass (Taimu) flutes and draw from Zen nature songs, Japanese folk music, rock shakuhachi (high energy original compositions/arrangements) and Buddhist blues. Boots recently released an album of Taimu solos recorded in a cave called Mountain Hermit’s Secret Wisdom. He has also composed and notated (Japanese calligraphic notation) a series of 27 etudes for Taimu. With his latest release, Holy Flute, Cornelius continues to develop a soul-based, virtuosic, genre-denying composition and performance style incorporating rock, blues, metal and classical Zen elements. He calls the result “bamboo gospel.” A robust, expressive solo style that merges his own diverse 33-year woodwind experience with the Zen Buddhist shakuhachi tradition, rooted in aliveness, awareness and the natural world.

Selected Festivals, Grants or Awards:
International Songwriting Competition (2006), International Clarinet Association and Clarinetfest (1994, 2008, 2011, 2013), Chamber Music America (2004), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (2007), Areon Flutes (2012), Crescent Duo (2014), Switchboard Music Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) Bang on a Can SF (2008), 3 Drops of Blood (2004, 2005), International Shakuhachi Festival Prague (2016), Science and Nonduality (2015, 2016)

38.0008669, -122.6786008

Forest Knolls, CA (94933)

Full Name:
Cornelius Boots
Contact Phone:
Contact Email:
Institutional Affiliation:

Chikuzen Studios, Mujitsu Shakuhachi, Wen Wu School of Martial Arts

Music Styles:
honkyoku/dokyoku, rock, blues, free improv, classical, original compositions
Instrument/Voice Types Taught:
shakuhachi, Taimu, breath wizardry, bass clarinet, music theory

Shihan (master teacher) shakuhachi certification (2013)
from Chikuzen Studios, Grandmaster Michael Chikuzen Gould and the dokyoku lineage

Performer’s Certificate Special Recognition (1999)

Master of Music in Jazz Studies (1999)
Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance (1997)

Bachelor of Science in Audio Recording (1997)
from Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Years Teaching:
Lesson Rate:
$80/lesson (60-75 min.)
Teaching Method:

Complete Awareness and Solid Foundation Method

Makes House Calls: