The 38th annual Music From Japan Festival kicked off with a Japanese drum and flute concert in New York on Saturday, delighting the audience while paying tribute to residents of the area struck by the March 2011 disasters and ensuing nuclear crisis.

Japanese-American musicians Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe delivered a program of traditional pieces and jazz-infused original compositions that thrilled Japanese music enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

"It was the first time I have been exposed to this kind of music. I was overwhelmed," said John Lavora, a New York City resident who attended the concert.