We had our first two Works In Progress concerts this past weekend and they were a great success! I find myself completely inspired and energized after the weekend. We got a lot of creative work done and ended up having more pieces than we could perform. The question I ask myself in order to judge how successful these concerts are is: “How did the music progress?”. By this metric these concerts were a grand success! I’m especially excited about what Abe and Eien are bringing to the group. We performed two of Eien’s pieces both of which went very well and will definitely find a place in the repertoire. Both are such talented and versatile musicians and will add a lot to our music moving forward.
We also had some great guest artists. It’s always fun to play with Russel and Jeanne. Often when we do get the opportunity to play together they are organizing the concert or festival and have a ton of responsibilities to deal so it was great to be able to have them come down and only have to worry about the music. Although… that being said they did move a lot of drums! Oh well. Guess you just can’t get around that part of being a taiko player.
Maceo Hernandez and two members, Kaz and Taylor of East LA taiko also joined us for the Sunday concert. We played one of Maceo’s pieces and they joined us on Maz’ newest tune. Maceo is a bit of legend in the LA taiko community and I’ve always respected what he’s been through to play taiko and the different musical projects he’s involved with. Though we are in the same “scene” somehow we’ve never been able to share the stage together so it was great to finally make that happen. Hopefully this will be just the start of things to come.
Got to give a HUGE shout out to Jana and Courtney who helped us out immensely. Taiko people are the absolute best! Speaking of taiko peeps a shout out goes to the taiko peeps who came to the concert and helped us move drums and chairs!
The biggest thank you goes out to our FoundatiOn Team donors whose generous contributions make this concert series possible! It’s very empowering to know that so many people believe in your work enough to support it and we are blessed with a great group of supporters and fans! We show our appreciation for the support with FoundatiOn Team swag like t-shirts, hoodies and exclusive music. Every year (almost) we try to do a 20-30 minute EP. The EPs are similar to the Works In Progress concerts as they are our way of trying out different material in the recorded realm and work out ideas for the next album. We still have one more concert to go in January. So if you are interested in supporting this years Works In Progress concerts and EP you’ll have until then to ensure your swag. If you are interested in the details and joining the FoundatiOn Team send me an email at shoji (at) onensemble.org.
Thank you to all those who came out to the first two Works In Progress concerts! We’ll see you at the next one!