Archive for September, 2008

Oceanside Public Library World Music Series

Monday, September 15th, 2008

We had a great time performing at the Oceanside Public Library’s 2008 World Music Series! It was a great sounding theater and a great audience. A big thank you goes out to Kristine, Deborah and the Friend’s of the Oceanside Public Library for their help in bringing us to their community.

Also thank you to everybody who came out to see our performance. It was especially nice to see members of UCSD Asayake Taiko at the performance. We connected with Asayake Taiko at the Collegiate Taiko Invitational this year. On Ensemble was paired with Asayake Taiko for a master class session and we were particularly impressed with their energy and eagerness to learn and improve. Also a shout out to Stanford Taiko’s Elle who keeps showing up at On Ensemble events this summer!

Stanford Taiko went on a massive three week tour with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford CHamber Chorale, Stanford Choral Union and the St. Lawrence String Quartet early this summer. Stories and pictures from the tour are featured in this month’s Stanford Magazine. How cool is that? I know I’m starting to sound like an old man but back when Kris and I were in Stanford Taiko there were no international tours and we had to haul drums 300 feet in the cold California winters just to practice…

Tickets now available for ON Ensemble ’08: YOBU

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Tickets for ON ’08: YOBU, our fifth annual home concert are now on sale! This year’s concert will be held at the Aratani/Japan America Theater in downtown Los Angeles, on Saturday November 8th.

YOBU is extra special for us because Kris will be receiving his natori for nagauta shamisen! Kris’ sensei Kineya Katsuyukie will be flying from Japan to perform with Kris in his natori debut. Getting a natori (professional stage name) from a nagauta school is a big deal. There are only few artists in the United States with a natori in nagauta and the only taiko player in the United States with a natori is the legendary taiko pioneer Kenny Endo. We’re very proud of Kris as he makes a bit of taiko history and hope you’ll be there to celebrate with us!

ON ’08 : YOBU
Saturday, November 8th, 8pm
Aratani/Japan America Theater
244 S San Pedro St
Los Angeles CA 90012

Box Office: (213) 680-3700
$30 Orchestra/$25 Balcony
$25/$20 for JACCC Members, Seniors, Students, and Groups of 10+


Taiko with Kanye West at the VMA

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

I didn’t watch the VMAs this year but heard that Kanye West sang his new song “Love Lockdown” with a bunch of taiko players as backup from Danny this morning. I searched the web and found the video but couldn’t find anything about who the taiko players were. According to Maz it was members from Zendeko and Kishin so I went to their website but couldn’t find any information… Can anyone confirm who it was?

Anyways, more great exposure for taiko! Seems like there is taiko everywhere these days! Great job to whoever was involved, it was a cool concept. Kanye West with back-up taiko robots… very cool.

Kaoru Watanabe performances in LA

Monday, September 8th, 2008
Kaoru Watanabe

Kaoru Watanabe

On Ensemble’s good friend and amazing Japanese flutist, Kaoru Watanabe, will be performing in Los Angeles. On Sept 13 and 14, he’ll be performing new works at:

Saturday, September 13, 8pm
Sunday, September 14, 7pm
Rosalie & Alva’s Performance Gallery
1417 W. Eighth Street, San Pedro, CA 90732
Admission: $15 at the door
For reservations, email or call (310) 408-2020

On Sept 19, Kaoru will be performing as part of Mare Serenitatis, a multimedia performance produced by Hirokazu Kosaka. Mr Kosaka was my boss when I worked at the JACCC and is extremely creative. I’m sure this is going to be a great show!

Trailer home on regular land

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

I started doing a bit of research about the second half of the mobile-dream-home equation — parking the trailer home on an actual lot and tying it into the standard utilities.  The idea is that after spending a number of years in trailer parks getting a sense for the general livability of the house and livability of the town, we’d buy an actual lot and put the trailer home there.  The question is:

Do land-use restrictions make this illegal?


On Ensemble November workshop tour!

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
On Ensemble taiko workshops

Along with performances in the Minneapolis area and Winnipeg, On Ensemble will be visiting taiko groups along the route and offering a number of taiko workshops!  If you’re a taiko player in or around any of the following cities, please let us know if you’re interested in a workshop or private lesson!

On Ensemble taiko workshops coming to:

Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Lincoln, St Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Winnipeg

Eugene Taiko and Home!

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Last night, Shoji and I got into Eugene, OR to a pleasant surprise. We ended up staying with our long time family friends, Misa Joo and Will Doolittle. They cooked us an awesome chicken dinner with some fresh lettuce from their garden. Fresh food and home-cooked meals are the best when you’re on the road and eating nothing but restaurant food. They also took us to a nice coffee shop with some really great pastries. Eugene is a cool, little town! Of course there is the University of Oregon, but we found out that there are a lot of performing venues! And, we now have another nice place to stay along I-5. Thanks so much Misa and Will for hosting us!

This morning and afternoon, we did two workshops for Eugene Taiko and Waka Taiko. It was a great group of people. The kids from Waka Taiko hung in there for the whole five hours! Big thanks to Lois Yoshishige for helping us organize the workshop.

Tonight, we’re in Mt. Shasta. Unfortunately, my parents have a performance in Grants Pass, OR, but my second parents (Shoji’s parents) made us another awesome home-cooked meal. Tomorrow, we’re off to home!!!

Trailer home / RV park research

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

I’ve been doing some research on trailer parks and I’m excited to learn that they’re a viable option. (more…)

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