From Mike Penny
I am the second non-Japanese Tsugaru shamisen player ever to placed in the annual international Tsugaru shamisen tournament held in Hirosaki, Japan. There, I received third prize in my class. I have toured both the US and Japan in various groups playing everything from Balkan gypsy, klezmer, and flamenco to Western classical, jazz, and my own original compositions.

In 2006, I won first prize in Global Rhythm magazine’s songwriting competition for my composition entitled “Cruzian Grass”. I have done session work for several artists over the years, and I recently recorded shamisen on the SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs (PlayStation 3 video game) soundtrack.

My presence on Youtube has grown considerably in recent years, and I have made and appeared in several viral videos.

Fundamental Tsugaru Techniques
Appalachian/Old-Time ballads on Shamisen