Posts Tagged ‘Kaoru Watanabe’

Online Taiko and Fue Lessons at kaDON!

Sunday, August 17th, 2014


For the past year I’ve been working with Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe and Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten to on a new online taiko teaching resource called kaDON! I’m very excited about this venture as I feel that we are at an important moment in the growth of taiko as an art form. There has a been an incredible growth of taiko groups throughout the world. This past month the World Taiko Gathering held here in Los Angeles brought taiko groups from throughout the United States, Japan, UK, Belgium, Spain, Brazil and Argentina for an amazing weekend of workshops, networking and concerts. It was so inspiring to be around all of these people from around the world that shared the same passion for the taiko. It’s my sincerest hope that kaDON will help facilitate the further growth and development of taiko throughout the world by providing high quality instruction and repertoire to as many people as possible!

Kaoru and Kenny at JANM

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Our good friends and frequent collaborators Kaoru Watanabe and Kenny Endo will be performing at JANM on Friday May 23rd at 8:00pm! Tickets are on sale now and are only $15!

Friday, May 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
Japanese American National Museum–Tateuchi Democracy Forum
100 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets: $15 general admission; $10 JANM members
Purchase online at:


Shoji Kameda, Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko Trio

Friday, September 13th, 2013

I will be in Houston performing with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko for a special trio performance this Saturday September 14th. The performance kicks off the Asia Society Presents 2013-14 season. Come check it out if you are in the area!

From Asia Society Presents website:
Kicking off our 2013-14 performing arts seasons are multi-instrumentalists Shoji Kameda and Kaoru Watanabe. These leading lights of Japanese music in the United States are known for infusing traditional taiko and flute with jazz and world music elements such as Central Asian throat singing. With music described as “completely original and brilliantly conceived,” they are at the forefront of young musicians who seamlessly bridge East and West, old and new. These sonic adventurers have invited virtuoso koto player Sumie Kaneko to join them for a not-to-be missed evening of music designed to complement the exhibition Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku.

TAIKO 2.0 Guest Artist Profile: Kaoru Watanabe

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Kaoru Watanabe

TAIKO 2.0 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts is coming this Saturday March 12th!  Today we are highlighting Brooklyn based flute and taiko player Kaoru Watanabe.  Kaoru was born into a musical family, both of his parents play with the St. Louis Symphony.  He’s a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy  and the Manhattan School of Music.  He got his start playing taiko in St. Louis then later with the New York based group Soh Daiko.  In 1998 Kaoru moved to Sado Island to become an apprentice with Kodo.  He became the first American to become a performing member of Kodo and spent six years touring around the world with the ensemble.  In 2005 he become Artistic Director of Earth Celebration, Kodo’s annual world music festival held in Sado every summer.  In 2006 Kaoru left Kodo for New York City and has quickly become one of the most sought after fue and taiko players in North America.

Next up: TAIKO 2.0 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Our TAIKO 2.0 collaboration with Russel Baba, Jeanne Mercer, Kaoru Watanabe and Patrick Graham at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts is coming Saturday March 12th at 8pm!  Russel, Jeanne, Kaoru and Patrick are four of our favorite artists to work with.  We’ve been working on new material and it’s going to be one of best concerts to date!  We’ve also added another special guest artist Kodo’s principal dancer Chieko Kojima.  Chieko is on tour this month in the US and we were able to work out her schedule to have her join us for a special performance on the Cerritos stage.  Tickets are on sale now and are available through the Cerritos Center box office.

On Ensemble with guest artists: Russel Baba, Jeanne Mercer, Kaoru Watanabe, Patrick Graham and Chieko Kojima
Saturday March 12th, 8:00pm

Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
12700 Center Court Drive
Cerritos, CA  90703
Tickets $61/$49/$37
Box Office:  (800) 300-4345

This will be our third time presenting a collaborative concert at the Cerritos Center.  Our last concert was with Kenny Endo and you can read a review of the concert at CerritosInk blog.

Paradise Lost Rehearsal

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Holy moly!  Shoji and I got into New York Saturday night and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind since.  The night we got in, we had and awesome dinner at Chevella’s with our awesome hosts and good friends, Kaoru and Mari.

The next day, we sat down and wrote out our scores for Paradise Lost.  I taught an Omiyage workshop at Kaoru’s school, the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center.  Shoji will be back at the school on Wednesday to fine tune the song.

Today, we had a rehearsal for Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost in which we perform in tomorrow at Carnegie Hall!  We didn’t really know what to expect, but today’s rehearsal was amazing.  There are over 400 singers in the choir, seven lead singers, Eric (the creator and conductor), Greg (musical director and DJ), Fang Fang (cello virtuoso), the narrator, and us.  I was overwhelmed by the power of 400 singers.  It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard.  Amazing…

Video doesn’t really do it justice, but here is a clip:  PLChoir

The musicians, Greg, Eric, the narrator, and the leads!  Come check out the concert tomorrow if you’re in NYC!

Next up: NakaNaka and Paradise Lost in New York

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Maz and I are headed to New York this month!  First we will performing Tuesday June 15th at Carnegie Hall for the New York premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings.  We were lucky enough to work with Eric two years ago when he premiered Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at the Boston Court Theater in Pasadena.  The New York performance will be the concert version which probably means no elaborate fight to the death angel battle scenes but it’ll be an experience none the less!

Then on Saturday June 19th at 9pm we’ll be performing with at DROM with Kaoru Watanabe (flutes and taiko), Yuka Yamamoto (vocals, ukele), Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) and Barbara Merjan (drums and taiko) as a part of NakaNaka a performance series that Kaoru facilitates.  Should be a lot of fun!

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