All posts in the "Performances" category.
All posts in the "Performances" category.
On February 25th at 5 pm, we will be performing alongside The Nile Project, Ballet Folclorico do Brazil, Futa Toro West African Drummers and Dancers, Halau Keali`i O Nalani, Las Colibri, and Yuval Ron Ensemble for “Global Currents” at the Valley Performing Arts Center. The festival is from 1-6 pm on the VPAC Lawn & Courtyard and is FREE!
SOLD OUT!!! Happy New Year! We will be back at the Miles Memorial Playhouse on January 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm for the Fireside at the Miles.
For tickets and information, please go here: Miles Memorial Playhouse
Taiko Heroes 3
A time to reflect on the year with current favorites and bring in the new year with new work, Taiko Heroes is returning on December 3rd, 2016 at Live Arts Los Angeles! This year, On Ensemble is featuring our good friend, Kaoru Watanabe from New York to present new material from his album Néo. He will be joined by Yuta Sumiyoshi, one of the young featured stars of the iconic Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble Kodo and Fumi Tanakadate, a multifaceted musician based in New York City.
Established in 2002, On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the taiko (Japanese drumming) world. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble is recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock to central asian overtone singing. Their fearless musical exploration has expanded the artistic range of the taiko and has taken these ancient instruments into new realms.
Kaoru Watanabe is one of the most innovative performers on Japanese shinobue flutes and taiko drums. He seamlessly combines traditional ritual and theater musics of Japan with the complex compositional and improvisational elements of jazz and other western musics.
Yuta Sumiyoshi entered the Kodo Apprentice Centre in 2010, and became a Kodo member in 2013. Despite being a newcomer, he was selected for important soloist positions from his very first tour, including the coveted role of O-daiko. Known by colleagues as Kodo’s “sound maker,” Sumiyoshi specializes in nimble drumstick work, and is always enhancing the musicality of performance pieces
On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the taiko (Japanese drumming) world. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble is recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock to central asian overtone singing. Their fearless musical exploration has expanded the artistic range of the taiko and has taken these ancient instruments into new realms. The group’s unique sound has been praised as “completely original and brilliantly conceived.“ (Brian Moore, TransformOnline)
Arts Northwest Juried Showcase
Mark Woldson Theater at the FOX
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – 2:45 pm
What presenters are saying:
“On Ensemble brought their virtuosity of the taiko art to the SummerSounds stage. They worked collaboratively, efficiently, and never missed an opportunity to make the performance better. Shoji and the crew were more than accommodating to the production’s musical needs and rose to meet each challenge with enthusiasm and flair. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with On Ensemble again, as their professionalism and mastery in their craft is unparalleled.” – Sarah Little, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
“On Ensemble was a pleasure to present and the concert program was extremely well received by the students and teachers. Infusing the art form of taiko with a myriad of influences, the music is unique and compelling. The members are remarkable musicians and have a true passion for their work. Beyond their energetic music, one highlight of the performance was a question and answer session with the young audience, which the ensemble approached with sincerity and encouragement. With outstanding musicianship and thought-provoking discussion, it was exactly the kind of experience we strive to offer our participants… I would recommend On Ensemble highly for any presenter looking for an engaging and enlightening world-music ensemble.” – Theresa Willis Peters, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA
“The Aratani World Series was thrilled to have On Ensemble in our inaugural season. This company delivers a diverse and artistically mind blowing performance. Shoji Kameda does an excellent job contextualizing the program from the stage and every member is spot on in terms of virtuosic technique and theatrical presentation. Audiences jumped to their feet begging for more. A young, energetic program with broad appeal, we were proud to present On Ensemble.” – Judy Mitoma, World Festival of Sacred Music
After our last performance at SummerSounds, we got in our cars and drove straight up to Mt. Shasta for ShastaYama. A long 10 hour drive up I-5 in 110 degree weather, we arrived around midnight and checked in Eien, Sumie, and Abe into their hotel. I went to my parents’ with my wife, Courtney (who is the best for supporting me and On over the years), and Shoji went home to his parents’. We all got a few hours of sleep and then had a morning tech rehearsal. The weather was starting to get nice and toasty. Close to 100 degrees!
Nevertheless, ShastaYama was magical as always. This year, Shasta Taiko, Taiko Trekkers, Tadaima (my mom and dad’s jazz group with Gary Fitzgerald), Steve Cervantes, and Unit Souzou performed and we closed the show. It’s always the best to perform for the home crowd!
ShastaYama will always make me emotional because it’s home! My mom and dad, Jeanne and Russel, obviously mean a lot to me, and to pull ShastaYama off for 10 plus years is quite a feat. Plus, it means I get to perform with them, my bro, Shoji, my wife, and some of the best people and musicians in the world. I will always treasure these memories that have built up over the years.
We also had a photo shoot in the beautiful countryside of Mt. Shasta. I’m looking forward to seeing the results. Stay tuned!
After the photo shoot, Abe and Courtney drove back to LA, Eien dropped Sumie off at the Medford airport on the way back to Portland, and Shoji and I are staying to work on some new material.
It was a great tour. Full of awesome music, beer, food, and company. Thanks to all for helping us along the way!
Getting some dinner and hanging out with bears and a statue of sasquatch at Granzella’s!
Circling up before the show.
Me and my mom!
Dad on the sax.
A view of the audience.
On Ensemble takes the stage!
Abe and Sumie hanging out at the photo shoot!
Take a sneak peep behind the scenes of our upcoming collaborative concert with Ho Etsu Taiko in Chicago. I’ve been working with Ho Etsu for the past year and half and it’s been really rewarding to work with a group like this over a longer period of time. They were the first group outside of On Ensemble that I taught Lion Chant to and they helped debut the piece at the 2014 World Taiko Gathering. We’ve been working on more collaborative pieces and this video gives you a little behind the scenes look into that process! Enjoy!
Finally got the videos from our February concert at the Aratani Theater with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko uploaded!
We are super excited about our upcoming collaborative concert series ‘Rotations’ with Ho Etsu Taiko on October 3rd and 4th at Chicago’s amazing Anthenaeum Theatre. I’ve been working with Ho Etsu Taiko fairly regularly for the past year when they brought me to work with their group in April of 2014. Since that time our relationship has continued to grow and the idea of this collaborative concert was born! We’ve been working on new music specifically for this concert and it’s going to be a great concert series!
Ho Etsu Taiko and On Ensemble
Saturday Oct 3rd 7:00pm and Sunday Oct 4th 2:00pm
2936 N. SOUTHPORT AVENUE
BOX OFFICE: 773-935-6875