Archive for January, 2010

The Grammys

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I picked up my Grammy tickets today!  Getting excited about going.  There’s a nominee reception on Saturday then the big show on Sunday.  Emi is making a dress for herself to wear out of two of my little sister’s bridesmaid dresses and I had to go shopping for a jacket and some respectible clothes.  Hiroshima was nominated for “Best Pop Instrumental Album” for Legacy and will be given out during the pre-telecast portion of the Grammys which will be streamed on-line and will be available afterwards at the Grammy website.

Thank you FoundatiOn Team donors!

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Thank you George Aoyama for your donation!

Marantz 4140 and Infinity Column II project

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Several years ago a friend and mentor of mine (thanks Steve!) gave me his old stereo set up that was taking up space in his garage.  The set-up I inherited was a Marantz 4140, a Yamaha GE-60 graphic equalizer and a pair of Infinity Column II speakers.  His cat had clawed the bottom woofers in the column II’s and the foam had long since deteriorated.  I set them up in my apartment and immediately got a complaint from the downstairs neighbor so I disconnected the system and have been lugging it around Los Angeles for the past couple of years from tiny apartment to tiny apartment just biding my time…

marantz (more…)

Catching up on practice

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Short-term, personal goal:

For the next 10 days, I will average more than two hours of concentrated, taiko practice per day.

My shamisen teacher was in town last week (videos coming soon!) for 10 days of non-stop nagauta, the music of Kabuki. While I made huge strides in my shamisen playing, I’ve neglected my daily taiko practice. See the pitiful amount of purple (personal practice) toward the end of the graph below? How sad! Working toward my goal of 10,000 hours of practice, I’m trying to average at least an hour a day. So I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

Due to the way I calculate my practice time, two hours is actually more like four hours at the drums. And because I have appointments over the next week, I’ll have to aim for more than four hours most days to keep my average up. I’m stating this publicly with the hopes it’ll help me stay on track.

If you see me between now and Feb 2, tell me to stop chatting/skateboarding/whatever and to get drumming. If anyone else wants to practice, let me know! Strength in numbers!

5 days, 100 kids, 28 taiko classes

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

At the beginning of the month I participated in Pilgrim School’s “Golden Week”, an intense week of Japanese culture classes for students kindergarten through high school.

JATV visited my class and did a short segment on the whole program. More after the break…


Thank you FoundatiOn Team donors!

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Thank you for your donation Kim!
Kim Nakashima becomes the 101st FoundatiOn Team donor!

Mark Miyoshi

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Hi all.  Long time no blog!  I’ve had a nice, busy schedule in January.  Two gigs out in Vegas and a big show in Riverside with TAIKOPROJECT kept me on my toes for the new year.

Over the holidays I went home to Mt. Shasta and visited my parents.  During my stay, we went over to Mark Miyoshi’s to see the new, huge odaiko he’s building.  If you’ve never met Mark, he’s one of the most gracious, great, spiritual people that I know.  He builds taiko from scratch all by himself.  In Japan, you have workers who do each step of building a taiko.  One person who carves the inside out, one person who cures the skin, one person who puts the skin on, etc.  Mark does it all to amazing perfection.  He and his wife, Luisa, have chickens, a bee colony (of which I am enjoying the awesome honey from), make herbal tinctures, among other things.  Mark has been like an uncle to Shoji and myself.  The odaiko he’s building is the biggest he’s built and is part of a bunch of taiko he is building for display at The World’s First Global Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ opening in April, 2010.  Congratulations Mark!  This is a huge honor and it’s a huge honor to have Mark as part of my life.

Thank you FoundaiOn Team donors!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Thank you to Stacey Nakasone for her donation to the 2009 FoundatiOn Team! Stacey is our 100th donor this year and brings the grand total to $11,375!

Thank you again to all of this year’s donors! I will have updates from the hands-on workshops as they happen over the next few months. Thanks to the generosity of the FoundatiOn Team, On Ensemble is providing eleven taiko workshops to public school students!

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