News and Updates

All posts in the "News and Updates" category.

On Ensemble on 90.7fm KPFK Global Village

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

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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
213-628-2725
Tickets online at: festivalofsacredmusic.org

On Ensemble performance at the NAMM Show

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

NEWS BAR

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

Free try-taiko classes this month

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

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More info: http://taiko.la
RSVP: http://taiko.la/contact-us

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!

On Ensemble at Freight and Salvage

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Bay Area people! On Ensemble will be performing at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on Sunday September 7th at 8:00pm! Tickets are $21 advanced/$23 at the door and available through the Freight and Salvage website.

On Ensemble in concert at Freight and Salvage
Sunday Sept 7th 8:00pm
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
ph: (510) 644-2020 / info@freightandsalvage.org

On Ensemble at the WAA Conference

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

“Aside from the incredible talent and energy of the On Ensemble, we found them to be a presenter’s dream.”
– Marlene Hendrickson, University of Montana Presents

“I would recommend On Ensemble highly for any presenter looking for an engaging and enlightening world-music ensemble.”
– Theresa Willis Peters, Program Coordinator, Design for Sharing

“On Ensemble takes taiko way beyond is folkloric roots and moves it into new frontiers”
–  Stan Shikuma, International Examiner

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Founded by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble’s exceptional musicality takes the ancient instruments of taiko into the modern age. On Ensemble will be showcasing at the WAA Conference:
WAA Showcase Schedule
Sheraton Aspen Room
Tues Sept 2nd, 10:10pm
Wed Sept 3rd, 9:30pm
Thurs Sept 4th, 9:30pm

Represented by Cadence Arts Network Booth 601

New Promo Photos

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

We took some new promo photos a couple of months ago this time with Kris, David, Maz and myself and I’ve uploaded them to our Press-kit. We’ve also updated our bio in preparation for the upcoming WAA conference to reflect the new organization and additions to our group. Enjoy the photos!

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World Taiko Gathering!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

We had a great weekend at the World Taiko Festival. Or I should say Kris and I had a great weekend and Maz almost killed himself from overwork and exhaustion. I’d like to personally thank Bryan Yamami, Masato Baba, David Wells, Courtney Deguchi, Tomomi Hongo, Jen Baik, Jenny Maki Mimura, Brian Yamagata, Darren Endo, Yumi Saito, Elizabeth Ishida, Andrew ‘Chensy’ Chen, Keiko Harada, Doug Sakamoto, Kelvin Lee, Blaine O’Brien, Rachel Mock, Audrey Tu, Janelle You, Dan Porter and all of the WTG volunteers for all of their work and dedication to putting together an amazing weekend of taiko magic. Also thank you Lucas for coining the best taiko word ever.

I’d also like to thank Jason, Emily, Dana, Alexa, Donny, Tiana, Jenny, Tomomi, Jen, Maz, David, Blaine, Lisa Margie, Helen and Stacey for joining me in the massive Lion Chant that was performed to launch kaDON! I’ll be posting more about kaDON soon but in case you are interested head over to the website and see what it’s about.

Besides launching a new online taiko teaching venture I taught two workshops, was a panelist for a discussion session and performed at the opening ceremony and gave a speech at the closing session. My first workshop was for the youth program on “Imagination and Improvisation” and the other for one of the core concepts of Lion Chant. I was very happy with both workshops as I’m think I’ve finally found a way of teaching improvisation in a workshop that will give students the tools needed for improvisation. The Lion Chant workshop I was also very happy with as I’m finally starting to find ways to work within the context of a 2.5 hour workshop to teach something substantial with some depth. Part of this ties into the launching of kaDON as I feel freed from just teaching a line or a section of a song and can instead focus on a deeper understanding of the core concepts of a piece in the short time we have in a workshop.

I also performed in the three Taiko Nation concerts. I had a small part but it was just an honor to be a part of such a great concert. I’m really having fun playing more straight kumidaiko again and am fully inspired to explore more possibilities within a kumidaiko context.

However the absolute best part of of the World Taiko Gathering was seeing old friends and meeting new friends from around the world. Michelle and Isabel both said something at the closing ceremony that has stuck with me they both said to remember taiko is about people and the more I progress in this art form the more I see this is true. It really is about people and the wonderful connection we share because of this drum. The taiko community real is a special place.

World Taiko Gathering wrap-up

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

OtsukaresaMaz!

World Taiko Gathering was wonderful! TaikoProject was remarkably well-organized and the incredibly varied events ran like clockwork. All this despite the logistical challenge of drum movements, navigating workshop locations spread throughout Little Tokyo, and TaikoProject’s involvement in three high-production performances over the weekend. Incredible.

I taught two workshops, moderated a discussion session, and hosted a Matsuri Crashers Battle. All three were a blast. The weekend was so fun I felt guilty to be indulging in music-making and taiko conversation while I knew TP members were bustling around behind the scenes.

From all of us in the world taiko community, thank you Bryan, Maz, David, Jen, Courtney, Tomomi, Darren, Yumi, Brian, Jenny, Liz, Andrew, Keiko, Doug, Dan, Blaine … argh, I’m forgetting so many!… and the other dozens of TP folks and volunteers who put World Taiko Gathering together. Thank you, thank you!

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