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Taiko Merges Traditional Japanese Drums And Modern Methods

Taiko Merges Traditional Japanese Drums And Modern Methods

September 26, 2017

SOCORRO, N.M. – Ancient tradition meets modern American innovation, and the result is an eclectic and high-energy performance set to unfold Friday, Oct. 6.

An outstanding performing group known as Taiko Project will blend traditional Japanese drums with music, storytelling and choreography at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center in a Performing Arts (PAS) event at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

   PAS-taiko17-KimNakashima2
 

The Taiko Project Allstars will perform at Macey Center on Friday, Oct. 6.

 

The performance will feature the Taiko Project “All-Stars,” six of the company’s core musicians, whose combined talents unite ancient Japanese tradition with 21st century American innovation in a swelling tapestry of sights and sounds.

Based in Los Angeles, the group has been fiercely gender-balanced since its founding in 2000, embracing a multi-cultural openness that has nurtured the art form to its thriving status in America. The company is led by two of their generation’s leading forces, Managing Director Bryan Yamami and Masato Baba.

Taiko Project is the only American ompany to win Tokyo’s prestigious International Taiko Contest. Their musical chops were rewarded and recognized through appearances with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Sean Paul, and more. The group has also appeared on the Grammy Awards, the Academy Awards, “The Voice,” “The X-Factor,” Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and many commercials.

Preceding the performance Tech Club Macey (TCM), an adult social club (with occasional family nights) will present a sushi-making demo by Chartwell’s Campus Catering’s Chef Chris Griego. Three types of sushi, miso soup and edamame will be served, with a cash bar, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Galena Room off the upper lobby of Macey Center.  Admission is $7 for TCM members and $10 for non-members. RSVP is required at 835-5688 or pas@nmt.edu.

The Taiko Project All-Stars performance was scheduled to coincide with several long-standing, first-Saturday-in-October events including the semi-annual opening of historic Trinity Site on White Sands Missile Range, which continues to draw visitors 72 years after the first test of the atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert 

Speaking of history, the Socorro County Historical Society will host its annual Oktoberfest at the Hammel Museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. The Very Large Array will host its first-Saturday open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, the VLA will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film “Contact!” with free activities, talk, and guided tours. The tours begin at 11 a.m. with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m.

“We are proud to have an evening entertainment event to complement the many events – and expected out-of-town visitors – on tap for the first Saturday in October,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish. “Hopefully, the TAIKOPROJECT All-Stars performance will entice visitors to arrive in town early and spend the night.”

The ensemble takes its name from “taiko,” which refers to a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. Historical records suggest that taiko were introduced to Japan through Korean and Chinese cultural influence as early as the 6th century. Taiko refer to any of the various Japanese drums called wadaiko, and to the form of ensemble taiko drumming specifically called kumi-daiko.  In contrast to the percussive rhythms are the subtle melodic accompaniment of the koto (Japanese harp), yokobue (bamboo flute) and marimba.

“There’s a great deal of power and excitement in percussion, and the drums and unique performance style displayed by Taiko Project All-Stars are a unique addition to the wide variety of taiko and contemporary percussion ensembles we’ve presented on the Macey Center stage,” Kalish said.

Sponsors are the City of Socorro, Japan Foundation, Nusenda Credit Union, Snake Ranch Farm Stores, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Art Works and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $10 for youths. NMT students will be admitted free with their student ID at the door, or can pick up one ticket each at the New Mexico Tech Bookstore. Tickets also can be purchased online at nmtpas.org, or at the following locations: PAS office, New Mexico Tech cashier, Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Sofia’s Kitchen and El Sombrero.

-- NMT --

Taiko Merges Traditional Japanese Drums And Modern Methods

 

SOCORRO, N.M.  – Ancient tradition meets modern American innovation, and the result is an eclectic and high-energy performance set to unfold Friday, Oct. 6.

 

An outstanding performing group known as TAIKOPROJECT will blend traditional Japanese drums with music, storytelling and choreography at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center in a Performing Arts (PAS) event at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

 

The performance will feature the TAIKOPROJECT “All-Stars,” six of the company’s core musicians, whose combined talents unite ancient Japanese tradition with 21st century American innovation in a swelling tapestry of sights and sounds.

 

Based in Los Angeles, the group has been fiercely gender-balanced since its founding in 2000, embracing a multi-cultural openness that has nurtured the art form to its thriving status in America. The company is led by two of their generation’s leading forces, Managing Director Bryan Yamami and Masato Baba.

 

TAIKOPROJECT is the only American company to win Tokyo’s prestigious International Taiko Contest. Their musical chops were rewarded and recognized through appearances with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Usher, Sean Paul, and more. The group has also appeared on the Grammy Awards, the Academy Awards, “The Voice,” “The X-Factor,” Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and many commercials.

 

Preceding the performance Tech Club Macey (TCM), an adult social club (with occasional family nights) will present a sushi-making demo by Chartwell’s Campus Catering’s Chef Chris Griego. Three types of sushi, miso soup and edamame will be served, with a cash bar, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Galena Room off the upper lobby of Macey Center.  Admission is $7 for TCM members and $10 for non-members. RSVP is required at 835-5688 or pas@nmt.edu.

 

The TAIKOPROJECT All-Stars performance was scheduled to coincide with several long-standing, first-Saturday-in-October events including the semi-annual opening of historic Trinity Site on White Sands Missile Range, which continues to draw visitors 72 years after the first test of the atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert.

 

Speaking of history, the Socorro County Historical Society will host its annual Oktoberfest at the Hammel Museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. The Very Large Array will host its first-Saturday open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year, the VLA will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film “Contact!” with free activities, talk, and guided tours. The tours begin at 11 a.m. with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m.

 

“We are proud to have an evening entertainment event to complement the many events – and expected out-of-town visitors – on tap for the first Saturday in October,” said PAS Director Ronna Kalish. “Hopefully, the TAIKOPROJECT All-Stars performance will entice visitors to arrive in town early and spend the night.”

 

The ensemble takes its name from “taiko,” which refers to a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. Historical records suggest that taiko were introduced to Japan through Korean and Chinese cultural influence as early as the 6th century. Taiko refer to any of the various Japanese drums called wadaiko, and to the form of ensemble taiko drumming specifically called kumi-daikoIn contrast to the percussive rhythms are the subtle melodic accompaniment of the koto (Japanese harp), yokobue (bamboo flute) and marimba.

 

“There’s a great deal of power and excitement in percussion, and the drums and unique performance style displayed by TAIKOPROJECT All-Stars are a unique addition to the wide variety of taiko and contemporary percussion ensembles we’ve presented on the Macey Center stage,” Kalish said.

 

Sponsors are the City of Socorro, Japan Foundation, Nusenda Credit Union, Snake Ranch Farm Stores, AMEC Foster Wheeler, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Art Works and the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and $10 for youths. NMT students will be admitted free with their student ID at the door, or can pick up one ticket each at the New Mexico Tech Bookstore. Tickets also can be purchased online at nmtpas.org, or at the following locations: PAS office, New Mexico Tech cashier, Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Sofia’s Kitchen and El Sombrero.

 

-- NMT --