Archive for January, 2009

NY to Philly to Cleveland to Topeka

Monday, January 19th, 2009
With Kyo Daiko and Fruity

With Kyo Daiko and Fruity

Howdy all!  We all left NY on Saturday morning.  Thanks to the Buddhist Church of NY and Wynn for putting us up!  Kelvin and Shoji flew home and Kris and I continued the driving experience to Philadelphia for an Omiyage workshop with Kyo Daiko.  I’m returning in early March with TAIKOPROJECT to continue workshopping with them and for a concert.  After the workshop, Kris and I raced off to get a much needed oil change, then we met up with a few of the members at Yakitori Boy for dinner and karaoke.  Ana is awesome at karaoke!  She sounds like Shakira and Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries.  Thanks to Matt and June for organizing the workshop!

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With Icho Mame Daiko and Fruity

The next morning we hit the road at 3:30am and drove to Cleveland for a 2pm workshop.  It was snowing and a bit messy, but we made it on time.  We ate at this old-school diner called “Marko’s Family Diner” around the corner from their dojo and it was an interesting experience.  The food was, well… diner food, but the people were awesome.  It was a place where everyone in the neighborhood would go to and everyone knew each other.  They would joke around and were really polite to us.  After eating we met up with Icho Mame Daiko at their dojo and taught them basic stance at strike.  Thanks to Steve for setting up the workshop and thanks to Nozomi and James for housing us.

We drove a good 14-15 hours today to Topeka, Kansas!  Next stop – back to Denver!

On the road back to LA

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

The last performance of our East Coast tour is finished! Kelvin and I fly back to Los Angeles today and Kris and Maz start the long drive back to Los Angeles with workshop stops in Philadelphia, Denver and Moab.  More from the road later!

Drom!

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

We had a great performance at Drom last night.  We barely fit on stage but somehow managed it. A thank you goes out to Mehmet, Serdar and Nachiketa for bringing us to their very cool venue.  Thank you to everybody who braved the cold to come out and see us! Hopefully we’ll be back in NY soon.

Boston to NY

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

dscn20451Our two workshops with Odaiko New England were great fun and we’d like to especially thank our homestays: Mark and Kristin, David and Juni.  Kris led both workshops one on his “30 days to better shime” program and the other on timing.

Today Maz, Kelvin and I joined Kaoru for a performance at Kinokuniya to celebrate the closing of George Hirose’s photography exhibition.  George was nice enough to give us each a copy of his new book “Blue Nights“.  When I opened the book and the very first photo completely took my breath away…  Really fantastic images, beautifully composed, filled with life and urgency.

Tomorrow we have our last performance of this tour at Drom with Kaoru. Should be a fun performance, then Kelvin and I fly back to the West Coast and Maz and Kris start driving back to LA with workshop stops along the way.

On the road… with Fruity!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

We’re about half-way through tour and things are going great!  We’re on the last day of our visit with Odaiko New England, a great group of folks!

We have a travel wonderful travel companion on this tour… Meet Fruity!

Kimi Ann and Fruity

KimiAnn and Fruity

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Next up: DROM

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Our next performance will be at Drom on Friday January 16th at 8pm.  We’ll be joined by frequent On Ensemble collaborator and amazing Japanese and Western flutist Kaoru Watanabe. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Drom website.

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From Brattleboro to New York

Monday, January 12th, 2009

After our gig in Brattleboro we hit the road at 4am to make a 10:15am sound check in New York for our APAP showcases.  Both showcases went well and we’d like to thank the great tech crew at our showcases who watched over our massive amount of equipment and made everything run so smoothly.  It isn’t easy getting a drumkit, turntable, koto and eight taiko into a tiny conference room in an orderly fasion.

I had a little free time during the day so I spent it at Museum of Modern Art taking in some Miro, Picasso, Kandinsky, Warhol, Pollock and Matisse. I was particularly struck by the photography of  Mikhael Subotzky whose portraits of a small desert prison town were beautiful and thought provoking. I also found the Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937 quite fascinating. I’m always interested in how an artist evolves and continues to explore over time.  The range of Miro’s exploration in this ten year period is astonishing and something to admire and strive for.

Tomorrow we head up to Boston for a couple of workshops with Odaiko New England. Then we’ll be back in New York at the end of the week for our gig at Drom.

Brattleboro Wrap-up

Monday, January 12th, 2009

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Our performance in Brattleboro was great fun and we have many people to thank. First of all a big thank you goes out to Todd Roach and the Loft for presenting us at the New England Youth Theater. I was blown away by the community of world percussionist that Todd has nurtured in Brattleboro. It’s great to see the arts thrive in smaller more rural communities. Another great big thank you goes out to Patrick Cooperman of Cooperman drums for letting us stay at his beautiful home in Grafton. Cooperman drums makes some of the best frame drums around and his house is full of great antique drums… a drummer’s paradise.

Finally a huge thank you goes out to Patrick Graham for coming down and playing with us. Patrick should be familiar to On Ensemble fans and he has a new solo CD coming out soon called “Rheō“. I got a chance to hear some of the tracks on “Rheō” and they sound amazing. Patrick has a series of CD release concerts coming up in Montreal so check them out if you are in the area:

Rheō – A concert series marking the release of Patrick Graham’s first solo CD, featuring guests Ben Grossman (hurdu-gurdy & electronics), Kaoru Watanabe (fue & flute) & Tomomi Morimoto (contemporary dance)
January 22nd-23rd
8:00pm
MAI, Montreal arts interculturels
Montreal, Quebec

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