Hi all. A new video has been posted from the Taiko Heroes concert series! Lion Chant, composed by Shoji. I’d like to personally thank my childhood best friend, Ian Mora, who filmed and put these videos together. Ian and I were such good friends in elementary school that I think we became a nuisance to our teachers and we were never in the same class after fourth grade. Ian was always naturally talented for everything he did and film was always one of his loves. We made all sorts of stupid home videos when we were young that were quite awesome, if I must say. Ian is a much better actor than I am, but he always had to direct the videos, so I was often the main actor with our other bad actor friends. So embarrassing! From Kung Fu videos to claymation, we had a great time. Ian was also in Shasta Taiko and we were also in a rock band together called “King Gorira”. If we didn’t have those things growing up, we would have gotten in all sorts of trouble!
In the next few weeks we’ll be posting new videos! The fist sets of videos comes from our friend and filmmaker Ian Mora. We grew up playing taiko with Ian and he came to our Taiko Heroes concert last October and put together these great videos. More coming soon!
After our performance in Palmer Lake, CO we hit the road to Casper Wyoming. Again I have to give a shout out to Aiko for the Starbucks cards they were put to good use!
Once we got to Casper we had a busy couple of days. We performed 3 school shows for over 2000 Casper Area students had a hands on workshop with a class of percussion students and performed a concert! We had a fantastic time in Casper and a huge thank you goes out to Carolyn Deuel for all of her work in bringing us up to Casper. Artcore is quite a series and we were honored to be a part of it!
After the performances in Casper we piled into the van hooked up the trailer and dropped Eien off at the world’s least busy airport then drove all the way back to Los Angeles. Tried to take some shots of a beautiful Utah sunset from the van and kept rolling down the window to get a better angle much to Maz and Abe’s consternation. Still it was a great way to end our tour!
Yesterday we had a great performance at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts! A huge thank you goes out to Jesse and Carla for bringing us to the Tri-Lakes area and for the great hospitality and home cooked meals!
The Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts is an art gallery and a performance space and even has an artists in residence program. It was a great intimate venue to perform in and with Jesse and Carla both being fellow musicians and taiko players we really got well taken care of! There is a great community who have work displayed at the center and some of them came to the performance (hi Joe!). It’s really great playing in a place that really appreciates art and community and playing for fellow artists and musicians.
Also a shout out to Jon, Aiko, Yuji and all the Denver Taiko people who came down to see us perform! A special thanks to Aiko for thoughtfully hooking us up with Starbucks gift cards! What a perfect gift! They will get put to very good use! Also a big thank you to Toni and Lance who came to the show! Many taiko players already know this but Toni makes the BEST taiko and bachi bags ever! I’ve checked in taiko as regular baggage with her bags to Mongolia, Indonesia and French Guiana and On Ensemble has carted her bags around the country several times over. They are awesome.
It started snowing right when we started to play so we got excited and took some photos in the snow after the concert. Also have a fun photo of Abe’s pre-concert warm up: Super Mario Brothers 3! Next time I’m bringing my controllers and we’ll have pre-concert Final Fight II or old school Mario Kart tournaments.
We had a great performance at Peery’s Egyptian Theater on Friday the 13th! We had a great time in Ogden and a huge thank you goes out to Diane Stern and Weber State University Cultural Affairs for bringing us out to Ogden and for the great dinner and hospitality! Also a huge thank you goes out to John Snow and the great tech staff at the Egyptian Theater. They were a pleasure to work with and made all the technical aspects of the performance run very smoothly.
After recovering from the Aratani World Series concert we rehearsed for a few days and drove from Los Angeles to Ogden in one shot. We loaded into the theater that night and though it might seem like a long day to drive 13 hours then load-in and sound check it honestly felt like a day off compared to the new baby schedule at home!
On friday morning we had a great educational outreach performance for over 600 grade school students at the theater. It’s always great performing for kids and doing educational outreach. It’s something that we believe is important for the future of the arts and for the future of taiko plus it’s just fun playing music for a bunch of kids. It’s also great seeing their enthusiasm when we give a few of them a chance to play on the taiko. Later that evening we had a great concert for a very enthusiastic audience. We have to give a big shout out to all the Salt Lake City and Ogden area taiko people who came out to the show. Especially Alice who thoughtful brought 4 beautiful bento for us and Bo and Ron for their great hospitality and help post-concert!
My friend Yeeman (Manman) a certified Early Childhood Orff Music and Creative Dance Teacher is teaching a great new “Taiko Together” series of classes this February and March. These classes are for parent/child ages 2-6 and registration for the March classes are available now! For more info email email@example.com or visit taiko.la!