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!
Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Endo’
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: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/
We had a great time performing at Kenny Endo’s 35th Anniversary concert this past Saturday. Kenny has been a great teacher and mentor to us over the years and it was an honor to share the stage with him and the amazing artists he brought together to celebrate his 35 years in the artform. On Sunday Kaoru, Kenny and myself had another short performance at Senshin Buddhist temple for Hanamatsuri which was also a lot of fun. All in all it was a great weekend of music. Congratulations again Kenny!
Kenny Endo is celebrating his 35 years of being a taiko pioneer with a big concert at the Aratani/Japan America Theater on Saturday April 3rd at 8:00pm and we’ve been invited! We’ll be appearing as guest artists along with Kinnara Taiko, Kaoru Watanabe (taiko and fue), Wu Man (pipa), Abe Lagrimas (percussion), Derek Nakamoto (piano) and June Kuramoto (koto). I goes without saying that Kenny Endo has been a huge influence on our band and it will be an honor sharing the stage with such a great roster of musicians!
We are really excited about our upcoming performance: TAIKOX2 with Kenny Endo at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Kenny Endo is a taiko legend and has done so much for our art form. He is a true innovator and continues to be an inspiration for all of us who are trying to explore new directions with taiko. It’s going to be an honor to have him be a part of our TAIKOX2 collaborative series.
Last year’s collaboration with the Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble sold out so get your tickets soon!
Wow… I’m well into my 30s now! This is unofficially my and Shoji’s 25th year of playing taiko. Can you believe it? How special it is to still be playing with each other. Thanks Shoj for all the great years.
Last year was a pretty good year for me personally. Although things were tough for loved ones around me, I felt like I did a lot of growing up. I finally feel comfortable being the person I am. It’s in my nature to be a follower and I’ve always been told I should make an effort to be a leader, but that’s asking someone to be someone they are not. I feel like I can be a quiet leader and supporter. I feel confident with the skills that I have to be strong. I don’t have to be “over the top” or a “go-getter” to be respected. I’ve finally found out that I just have to be myself.
Some highlights of being 30:
-Driving across country and back SAFELY with Kris.
-Putting on a successful show at the Ford Amphitheatre with TAIKOPROJECT featuring guest artists San Francisco Taiko Dojo and making Tanaka-sensei proud.
-Going to Japan once to visit Courtney, going back a second time to help Kris receive his “natori”.
-Playing with TAIKOPROJECT in Hawaii. I MISS Hawaii. Thank you to Kenny and Chizuko Endo for being a big part of who I am.
-Adopting two abandoned kittens that Byron (my roommate and fellow TAIKOPROJECT member) found. We nursed them, gave one away to Yuri and kept the other one who Mika named “Tabi”. She has three grey feet and one white foot.
-Courtney’s return from Japan!!! A year is long.
–Shasta Yama with On Ensemble. Always awesome to play for the home crowd.
-Our home concert “Yobu”. At first it started to feel like, “why do we do this to ourselves?” But then, when the show started and we saw our family, friends, and fans, it was definitely worth it. Thank you all for coming!
Here’s to another year. Hope this one is better.
While I’m here gigging with Hiroshima, Maz is in Mexico performing with Taikoproject and Kris is in Japan preparing for his natori debut at ON Ensemble ’08: YOBU. After Mexico Maz will join Kris in Japan for more preparation. We’re really proud of Kris as he accomplishes something only a few people outside of Japan have done. Receiving a professional stage name (natori) from a traditional school is no small matter and very rare in nagauta for someone outside of Japan. Here in Los Angeles there are several high quality Nihon Buyo (Japanese dance) schools, like the Azuma-ryu led by Madame Sumako Azuma, that have strong ties to their parent school in Japan and regularly see dancers receive their natori but there aren’t strong nagauta schools where someone can get high quality training in Los Angeles.
If you want a natori in nagauta you really have to go to Japan and make contacts there. That’s what Kenny Endo did, he spent ten years in Japan studying nagauta and receiving his natori and became the first non-Japanese national to receive his natori in nagauta percussion. Kris is going to receive his natori in nagauta shamisen and we don’t know if he’s the first but he will definitely be one of a very very few non-Japanese nationals to have done so.