This unusual concert, featuring compositions and improvisations by Ryoko Amadee Goguen, is a rich mix of classical, jazz, and even pop musics, in styles from several historical periods. Each piece involves some improvisation (which is just "spontaneous improvisation"), ranging from ornamentation and rephrasing (in the tradition of Bach and Mozart) to totally spontaneity, often drawing on familiar fragments. All original vocal pieces have words by her husband, Joseph Amadee Goguen. The programme below is also subject to improvisation during performance; there may be surprise guest musician appearances, and vocals may be in English or Japanese.
Ryoko was a professional musician in Japan, composing for music theater, Kabuli theater, documentary films, advertisements, and children's concerts, among other genres. She also performed extensively in night clubs, big band shows, public concerts, hospitals, and many other venues; in addition, she taught piano and voice, to adults and in public schools. In 1994, she won an award for best popular song in Japan (it was written for the Kobe earthquake victims). In her teen years, she was rather famous for her performances of the music of Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin. She has lived and performed in the San Diego area since 1999, often performing at UCSD, where she is known for her free jazz improvisation, her performances at the Geisel music library, and until 2005, with the UCSD Big Band of Jimmy Cheatham.