Archive for May, 2009

Ah Garden Fresh!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

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Well we’re back from tour… and I’m still stuffed! We went to my very favorite restaurant in the whole world: Garden Fresh! Steve Sano took On Ensemble and a few Stanford Taiko members.  It was the most I’d eaten in weeks… I couldn’t stop!  The “#18 Orange Vegetarian Beef” was the highlight of the evening.  As Shoji says, “It’s like an upgrade to the real thing!”  It was the best meal of tour. Thank you Steve!

If you’re ever in the Mountain View area, check it out!

Ashkenaz

Monday, May 18th, 2009

ashkenazWe had a great performance at Askenaz last night!  A huge thank you goes out to the great crew at Ashkenaz and to all of our friends and taiko family who turned out for the show.  It was a great gig to end the tour on.

Today we have a presentation at Stanford for “Perspectives in North American Taiko” the first university level course on the history and practice of taiko in North America.  After the presentation it’s back to Ashland for Kelvin and Los Angeles for the rest of us.

Placerville to the Bay Area

Monday, May 18th, 2009

After Tahoe, we had a nice stopover in Placerville.  We had no idea where Placerville was or what to expect.  It turned out to be a pleasant surprise!  It was an old, quaint town with lots of character.  The Cozmic Cafe was a great place.  Good food and good people.  Thanks to Chris for bringing us out and thank you to Jazz and Dan for housing us in your beautiful home!

The next morning, we drove to Stanford University, Kris and Shoji’s alma mater.  Kris taught a timing workshop to Stanford Taiko.  What a great bunch of kids!  They learn so fast.  After the workshop, we had lunch together and Blair, one of the members, asked Kris what his major was.  Kris said he majored in English, but the joke was that all of the Blair’s teachers still talk about how Kris and Shoji’s major was taiko!

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Making music from a taiko-centric perspective

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I had a nice article written about me in my home town paper while we were through Mt. Shasta.  You can read the full article at the Mt. Shasta News website.

…Reduced to its simplest terms, Kameda described the music of the On Ensemble as “World fusion from a taiko-centric perspective,” though as soon as the word “fusion” left his mouth, he began to back peddle…

Lake Tahoe, Day 2

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

We just came back from dinner with the Arts for the Schools presenters (Melanie and Katy) at Rubicon Pizza in Truckee.  Thank you to Ray for a wonderful meal!

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We had four school shows in the past two days at North Tahoe High School and Truckee High School where they bused in elementary students from around the area.  The kids have been great!  Tomorrow, we have our concert at North Tahoe High School.  Please come check it out!

Yesterday, I took a walk around Kings Beach where we’re staying and had some fun taking pictures with my shadow on the beach.  A bit of trivia:  Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and it is the second deepest at 1,645 feet!  Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest at 1,945 feet deep.

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Metro Spirit review

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

We got a very nice review from Brett Hall in Metro Spirit an independent newsweekly based out of Augusta, GA:

When asked to define the term “avant-garde,” the majority of laypersons will probably answer with an arched brow and something like, “Um, weird art?” Well, for those of you who have not yet experienced a concrete example of avant-garde work, meet On Ensemble’s second CD release, “Ume In The Middle.” From start to finish, Ume introduces, displays, manipulates, and transforms several musical genres (traditional and new), molding them into a truly avant-garde experience. (more…)

Mother’s Day and Arrival in Tahoe

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

After our workshop in Ashland, Kris stayed and hung out with his family.  Shoji and I drove back to Mt. Shasta to have Mother’s Day dinner together.  What a treat!  This was the first time in a long time that I can remember being back for Mother’s Day.  Although Shoji and I didn’t cook since we drove in, it was a treat for our moms just to have us there.  We were fortunate to be with Mark Miyoshi and his wife, Luisa and our old friend Michelle Fujii and her husband Toru.  Here’s to moms!  We love you.

The next day Kris’ family drove down and we all had dinner together again!  Kris’ family wanted to take us out.  It was a lovely dinner at the resort with a nice view of Mount Shasta.  Touring, rehearsing, practicing, and doing business together really puts a toll on our relationships with all of our differences, but this was a special evening and made me appreciate Shoji and Kris and our families for all that we’ve been through.  The conversation revolved around “what if”.  “What if” this happened or didn’t happen?  It’s all by chance or fate.  We wouldn’t be here doing what we love.  Thanks Shoji, Kris, and Kelvin for this time right here, right now.

And now we’re back on the road in Tahoe.  Terry Yagura who used to be the director for Arts for the Schools and hired us when we first starting out, had us over for dinner.  She and her husband Ken cooked us a great meal at their wonderful home.  Nothing like home cooked food on the road!!!  Thank you so much Terry and Ken!

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Ashland Pictures

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Here are some pics from our stay in Ashland.  Ashland is a great little town just 1.5 hours north of Mt. Shasta.  It’s home of the Shakespeare festival and now the home of Kelvin.  I think this was a great move for Kelvin.  Many opportunities have surfaced for him including the play, “Death and the King’s Horseman” that Kris, Shoji, and I had the privelge of attending.

Kelvin at “Death and the King’s Horseman”

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