Archive for November, 2008

On Ensemble wordle from Moab Taiko Dan

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Heather Sudbury of Moab Taiko Dan created this fun image for us after taking our workshop last week.  She used and the first paragraph of On Ensemble’s bio to generate the image below.  Very cool!  Thank you, Heather!

Minnesota Tour Wrap Up

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Kris and I returned safely on Wednesday evening just in time to have Thanksgiving.  Kris went to be with his parents and I stayed in LA to eat with Courtney and her family.

We had one more stop after Minneapolis, but first we drove like 15 hours to Denver and stayed with Aiko from Denver Taiko.  Thank you!!!

The next day, we drove to Moab, Utah to teach a workshop.  I was just there at the end of October with TAIKOPROJECT.  We went to Arches National Park, but when I went, we were having so much fun, we actually ran out of time and didn’t get to see any arches.  Boo… BUT, this time I convinced Kris to go back and the first thing we did was go to see the North and South Windows and climbed to the top of the Turret Arch.  It was dangerous and scary, but worth it!  This picture is of Kris on top of the Turret Arch.  It’s small, but can you see him?

Thanks to Moab Taiko Dan for setting up these workshops.  Special thanks to Joan and Scott for hosting us at your awesome house!!!

We get some time off in December to rest up for our cross country drive to the East Coast!!!


Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! Maz and Kris are still on the road. They stopped by Moab Utah for workshops with Moab Taiko Dan yesterday and are making their way back to Los Angeles today. November was a very busy month, starting with Kris getting his natori at YOBU then heading out to St. Cloud, Winnipeg and Minneapolis. Thank you to everyone who helped make our November tour possible! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks Mu Daiko

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

We just finished a great weekend of performances with Mu Daiko! A huge thank you goes out to Rick, Iris and Mu Daiko for bringing us back to Minneapolis. Another set of thank yous go out to Susie and Gregg, Iris, Alex and Ben and Jeff for taking such good care of us during our stay. After the last performance we all went out to do what taiko players really do best: EAT! Nothing quite like good food and good company after a great concert! We had great fun performing with Mu Daiko and Minneapolis is quickly becoming one of On Ensemble’s favorite destinations!

Tomorrow Kelvin and I fly back to the West Coast while Kris and Maz head to Moab Utah to lead workshops for Moab Taiko Dan. One of the great things about being on the road is the opportunity to work with taiko groups all across the country. Every tour we go on we seem to find new groups to connect with. It’s great to see the growth of the North American taiko community and find new groups that we hadn’t known of before. At one of the concerts we met members of a collegiate taiko group based in St. Olaf! I thought I was relatively up to date on the collegiate taiko groups out there but you never know when or where you’ll find new taiko players! So if you are a part of a taiko group that is on the way from Los Angeles to New York get in touch with us. There is a really good chance that On Ensemble will be passing through your town sometime soon:)


Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Sadly, our stay here in Winnipeg, Canada has come to a close. We’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Pam and her awesome dog, Ruby, for hosting us. I had fun walking Ruby, although I think she was actually taking me for a walk.

We were kept busy up here teaching workshops to Hinode Taiko, performing a lecture/demonstration for Pam’s school, and eating. The Hinode Taiko folks are a fun bunch! Thanks for being great students!  Oh, and Karleen made an unbelievable vegan chocolate cake with fresh raspberries. Kris was in heaven!

The first day, Kris taught his “30 Days to Better Shime” workshop and I taught slant stand. The second day, Kris gave a private shime tightening workshop, then we held a percussion workshop, and taught composition at night. Today we had a lecture/demo and ended with a fun improvisation workshop. Before the workshop, we ate at Mr. Ono’s restaurant, Edohei, the restaurant Shoji mentioned and ate like kings. Shoji’s right! The butterfish sushi and tuna, avocado, and grapefruit salad were the bomb!

Tomorrow, Kris, Kelvin, and I drive back to Minneapolis, MN for our concert series with Mu Daiko this weekend and Shoji flies in from LA.

Next up: Minneapolis

Monday, November 17th, 2008

This weekend we’ll be performing with Mu Daiko at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis from Friday November 21st through Sunday November 23rd.  Mu Daiko was one of the first On Ensemble supporters.  Back in December  of 2003 they brought us to Minneapolis as guest artists for their annual concert series.  Michelle was still with us we didn’t tour with a drum kit or a turntable and the koto was used for only one piece: Gengakki and even that has changed drastically since then.  We’re looking forward to hanging and performing with Mu Daiko again!

Mu Daiko with On Ensemble
November 21-23rd
Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm Sunday at 2:00pm
Tickets: $25 students/seniors, $27 general
Buy tickets by phone: 612 436-1129 or online

During the week Kris, Maz and Kelvin will be headed up to Winnipeg to lead workshops for our friends up in Winnipeg Hinode Taiko.  I’m unfortunately going to miss the Winnipeg trip and will miss Mr. Ono’s amazing butterfish sushi and famous tuna, avocado and grapefruit salad.

Saint Cloud Wrap-Up

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Our residency here at Saint John’s University came to a close with a hands-on workshop in the afternoon and then our final concert this evening. We taught some basics and Renshu Taiko to our workshop participants. We had a few kids participate who saw our lecture/demonstration yesterday and they did awesome. Kris did introductions and final wrap up, I taught basics, and Kelvin taught Renshu. Great job everyone!

The concert went well. Thank you to all who came out and supported us! Special thanks to Leslie, Mary, Brooke, Brian, Kevin, Adam, and Deb for bringing us out and making this happen! It was a fun experience and we felt very well taken care of.

Tomorrow, we head to Minneapolis to drop off our van at Mu Daiko‘s studio, then we drive our rental car to Winnipeg, Canada to hold workshops with Hinode Taiko and a lecture/demonstrations for schools.

On Ensemble taiko class! “Performance Intensive”

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Hello all!  I am very pleased to announce an exciting new taiko course I’m organizing for December: the Performance Intensive!

Over the course of three sessions, we’ll work on form, musicality, and practice technique as we collaboratively compose a new taiko piece!

Participants first work with me one on one to determine personalized goals for the three weeks.  Parts are then tailored to individual needs.  The session culminates in a real performance, with a real audience!

The course will be engaging, challenging, and fun!  Participants come away with directed feedback, experience composing, and a new piece ready for reuse!

Open to all taiko players.  I’m really looking forward to this fast-paced, fun series!  Join us!

Performance Intensive

Class dates:
Wed Dec 3, 6:30-8:30pm
Wed Dec 10, 6:30-8:30pm
Wed Dec 17, 6:30-8:30pm
Sat Dec 20, 3:00-4:30pm
(TaikoProject members: this last date shouldn’t conflict with bonenkai)

Gardena Japanese Cultural Institute
1964 W 162nd St, Gardena, CA 90247


To sign up, please send me an email (kris <at> OnEnsemble <dot> org) or call 310-350-8825!  Looking forward to playing taiko with you!


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