March 2nd, 2015 | posted by: kris
Today, Shoji and Maz have asked me to step down from On Ensemble and I have conceded.
Although I am sad to go, I have only fond memories our 14 years together and feel no ill will to them. I very much hope we can continue to work together where the opportunity arises.
(In the coming weeks I’ll find a new place to blog about the random, wacky things I get myself into. Speaking of which, Hiro and I are moving this month, but just down the street. 2015 is all change!)
Thank you to Yoshihiko Miyamoto and the wonderful staff of Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten who have supported On Ensemble from the beginning in 2001… even when it included me, a total newbie to taiko.
Thank you to the FoundatiOn Team whose donations made so many of our Works in Progress concerts and audio recordings possible.
Thank you to all our fans and friends who encouraged me through the crazy compositions, crazy tours, and crazy fun.
February 16th, 2015 | posted by: shoji
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.
February 15th, 2015 | posted by: shoji
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!
February 10th, 2015 | posted by: shoji
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit taiko.la!
February 9th, 2015 | posted by: shoji
We had a great performance this past Saturday at the Aratani World Series. A huge thank you goes out to Judy, Anu, Marcia and the staff and volunteers of the Festival of Sacred Music for all of their behind the scenes work. Thank you to EJ for making the production side run smoothly. Thank you to Ric for the GREAT lighting design and a huge thank you goes out to Nana for making us sound so great!
Here’s a few of the tracks we played! Videos coming soon!
January 28th, 2015 | posted by: shoji
We had a great interview on KPFK’s Global Village with Yatrika Shah-Rais. We got to talk a lot about music our influences and spread the word about our upcoming concert with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko on Saturday February 7th. Our concert is part of the Aratani World Series and if you in Los Angeles you should go check out Waldemar Bastos this weekend!
with Sumie Kaneko and Kaoru Watanabe
SATURDAY / FEBRUARY 7, 2015 / 7:00PM
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets online at: festivalofsacredmusic.org