Archive for January, 2015

On Ensemble on 90.7fm KPFK Global Village

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


We had a great interview on KPFK’s Global Village with Yatrika Shah-Rais. We got to talk a lot about music our influences and spread the word about our upcoming concert with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko on Saturday February 7th. Our concert is part of the Aratani World Series and if you in Los Angeles you should go check out Waldemar Bastos this weekend!

On Ensemble
with Sumie Kaneko and Kaoru Watanabe
SATURDAY / FEBRUARY 7, 2015 / 7:00PM
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets online at:

On Ensemble performance at the NAMM Show

Friday, January 23rd, 2015


We performed at the opening of the 2015 NAMM Show this year at the Breakfast of Champions. Here’s a couple of links to a couple NAMM videos that include bits from the performance!

NAMM Breakfast of Champions
On Ensemble at NAMM Show

Recent book reviews — January 2015

Saturday, January 17th, 2015


Free try-taiko classes this month

Sunday, January 11th, 2015


More info:

In preparation for my term starting in February, I’ll be teaching a week of free, try-taiko classes at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute. If you know someone who’d like to try taiko — perhaps a friend whom you’ve promised to reconnect with this year, or a co-worker with a birthday this month — please let them know! There’s no obligation… we’re just happy sharing taiko with people!

Kris starting two new taiko groups

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Now recruiting inaugural members

I’m really excited about two new taiko groups I’m starting at LATI: Mochi Mochi and Matsuri Crashers. If you’re interested in a taiko challenge in 2015, let me know!


About Mochi Mochi

Mochi Mochi is a rice-pounding and taiko performing group developing a 30-minute performance for debut in December 2015, and with the goal of regular, public performance. Practices will involve beta and naname nagado taiko forms, plus small-drum technique, ensemble togetherness, and timing. Musical challenges range from accessible to advanced, with individual roles tailored for growth. The long-term vision of Mochi Mochi is to utilize the “mochitsuki” tradition of rice pounding as a compelling, artistic structure for sharing music, culture, food, and fun.


About Matsuri Crashers

Matsuri Crashers tackle the high-bar of slant-drum soloing, and encompass the Rock Solids base-beat crew who support the soloists. Using lighthearted competition inspired by the hip-hop world, Matsuri Crashers host “battles” where players go head-to-head and the audience votes. Weekly practices teach new moves and improvisation with guided individual practice. Members can focus on slant-drum development or small-drum jiuchi, and all members learn the challenging battle structures. Fast-paced and demanding, Matsuri Crashers is seeking advanced players.

Aratani World Series

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015



On Ensemble is getting 2015 started with a special performance at the Aratani World Series on February 7th! Not only will be it be the first performance of the year but we’ll be bringing two fantastic musicians from NY Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko as guest artists! It should be a great show and great way to start off 2015!

You should also check out the other artists performing as part of the Aratani World Series. It’s a stellar lineup of world class artists and we are honored to be a part of the inaugural season of this amazing series!

On Ensemble
with Sumie Kaneko and Kaoru Watanabe
SATURDAY / FEBRUARY 7, 2015 / 7:00PM
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets online at:




Kris’ carbon tally for 2014

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

In April of last year, I laid out my plan to reduce my CO2 production, from 16.9 tons in 2013 to 2 tons by 2023. My budget was 10.5 tons for 2014 and I’m pleased to say, I came in well under that, at 6.2 tons! Still far from a sustainable level, but a huge improvement for me!

2014 CO2 production from travel

Purpose Notes CO2 (in tons) Offset
Jun Japan trip LAX –> HND 1.9 2014/12/24
HND <-> KUM 0.2 2014/12/24
Jul England trip HND –> LON 2.1 2014/12/24
LON –> LAX 2.0 2014/12/24
Dec Vermont trip LAX <-> BBF cancelled
TOTAL — 6.2

If you’re concerned about climate change, I thoroughly recommend this 10-year plan! It lets you start from where you are, measure your improvements, and see progress. Throughout last year when I took courses on climate change and read the most recent studies, I was continually relieved to have the plan. Scientists’ warnings about climate change are growing more dire. We need to reduce our CO2 by 10 percent per year if we’re going to avoid committing the earth to more than 2 degrees warming. For me, the 10-year plan makes the task clear and manageable. Join me!

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