Posts Tagged ‘Mu Daiko’

Taiko Groove : On Ensemble and Mu Daiko

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

We are very excited about heading to Minneapolis for a collaborative series of concerts with Mu Daiko called Taiko Groove! Way back in 2003 Mu Daiko brought us out to Minneapolis for the first time for a collaborative concert called ‘Drums of Fire’! It was one of the first big performances outside of the West Coast and I remember being so excited about getting to travel for a performance. I will always be grateful to Mu Daiko for believing in us and our music right from the beginning. Since that first concert series we’ve been back a couple of time for performances and workshops and have built a great relationship with Mu Daiko over the years. Taiko Groove is going to be our most integrated and artistically challenging collaboration thus far! We are really looking forward to sharing the stage again with Mu Daiko and hope you’ll join us for Taiko Groove!

directed by Jennifer Weir
Assistant Director: Emma Valentine
E.M. Pearson Theatre, Concordia University
312 Hamline Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104

Taiko Groove is a collaborative concert that explores a more contemporary taiko groove. Witness a variety of instrumentation, rhythms and melody, and of course the visceral excitement and chest-rattling of our big drum numbers that audiences love.


Thursday, November 5 at 7:00 PM
Friday, November 6 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 7 at 2:00 PM (Pay what you can)
Saturday, November 7 at 7:00 PM
Sunday, November 8 at 2:00 PM

Minneapolis and Chicago Update

Friday, May 8th, 2015

I spent the last week in Minneapolis working with Mu Daiko and then Chicago working with Ho Etsu Taiko. Last year Ho Etsu Taiko was the first group I taught Lion Chant to outside of On Ensemble. Working with them was instrumental in developing the piece for other taiko groups and they helped me debut Lion Chant at the World Taiko Gathering last summer. This year they are bringing On Ensemble to Chicago in the fall for a series of concerts and we are using the work we did together last year as a foundation for developing new pieces and putting together a truly collaborative concert series.

With Mu Daiko I started teaching them Lion Chant, worked on Ready Set kaDON and material for another collaborative concert in the fall! I was amazed at how much we got accomplished over the weekend. The artistic director Jennifer Weir had been using the kaDON courses to prepare her group for our workshop time together very well. The result was that we got so much further with each of the pieces than we would’ve if I had just come to teach the pieces. Usually in a weekend of workshops I would be happy to teach the basic kecak part of Lion Chant and the exercises to get those parts nice and solid without worrying about the arrangement. Instead because of the prep work Jennifer and Mu Daiko did we were able to get through all of Ready Set kaDON, Lion Chant and part of another song in a weekend of working together.

It is really exciting to see how kaDON resources are being used in the community and SO EXCITING to realize just how much more can be accomplished in short periods of time working with a group using kaDON. As a workshop leader I’ve often felt the limitations of teaching within the workshop format. You have to keep what you teach very simple and it is hard to get to the deeper and more involved aspects of the art form. It often feels like I’m just scratching the surface. The depth can come from working with the same people repeatedly over a longer period of time and it is super exciting to be able to get to that depth much more quickly because people are using kaDON as a resource. It is very inspiring and inspires me to keep working on making kaDON the best resource it can be for the taiko community!

Thanks Mu Daiko

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

We just finished a great weekend of performances with Mu Daiko! A huge thank you goes out to Rick, Iris and Mu Daiko for bringing us back to Minneapolis. Another set of thank yous go out to Susie and Gregg, Iris, Alex and Ben and Jeff for taking such good care of us during our stay. After the last performance we all went out to do what taiko players really do best: EAT! Nothing quite like good food and good company after a great concert! We had great fun performing with Mu Daiko and Minneapolis is quickly becoming one of On Ensemble’s favorite destinations!

Tomorrow Kelvin and I fly back to the West Coast while Kris and Maz head to Moab Utah to lead workshops for Moab Taiko Dan. One of the great things about being on the road is the opportunity to work with taiko groups all across the country. Every tour we go on we seem to find new groups to connect with. It’s great to see the growth of the North American taiko community and find new groups that we hadn’t known of before. At one of the concerts we met members of a collegiate taiko group based in St. Olaf! I thought I was relatively up to date on the collegiate taiko groups out there but you never know when or where you’ll find new taiko players! So if you are a part of a taiko group that is on the way from Los Angeles to New York get in touch with us. There is a really good chance that On Ensemble will be passing through your town sometime soon:)


Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Sadly, our stay here in Winnipeg, Canada has come to a close. We’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Pam and her awesome dog, Ruby, for hosting us. I had fun walking Ruby, although I think she was actually taking me for a walk.

We were kept busy up here teaching workshops to Hinode Taiko, performing a lecture/demonstration for Pam’s school, and eating. The Hinode Taiko folks are a fun bunch! Thanks for being great students!  Oh, and Karleen made an unbelievable vegan chocolate cake with fresh raspberries. Kris was in heaven!

The first day, Kris taught his “30 Days to Better Shime” workshop and I taught slant stand. The second day, Kris gave a private shime tightening workshop, then we held a percussion workshop, and taught composition at night. Today we had a lecture/demo and ended with a fun improvisation workshop. Before the workshop, we ate at Mr. Ono’s restaurant, Edohei, the restaurant Shoji mentioned and ate like kings. Shoji’s right! The butterfish sushi and tuna, avocado, and grapefruit salad were the bomb!

Tomorrow, Kris, Kelvin, and I drive back to Minneapolis, MN for our concert series with Mu Daiko this weekend and Shoji flies in from LA.

Saint Cloud Wrap-Up

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Our residency here at Saint John’s University came to a close with a hands-on workshop in the afternoon and then our final concert this evening. We taught some basics and Renshu Taiko to our workshop participants. We had a few kids participate who saw our lecture/demonstration yesterday and they did awesome. Kris did introductions and final wrap up, I taught basics, and Kelvin taught Renshu. Great job everyone!

The concert went well. Thank you to all who came out and supported us! Special thanks to Leslie, Mary, Brooke, Brian, Kevin, Adam, and Deb for bringing us out and making this happen! It was a fun experience and we felt very well taken care of.

Tomorrow, we head to Minneapolis to drop off our van at Mu Daiko‘s studio, then we drive our rental car to Winnipeg, Canada to hold workshops with Hinode Taiko and a lecture/demonstrations for schools.

Next Up: Minnesota!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Today Maz and Kelvin hit the road with a van packed full of equipment to Minnesota! On November 15th we’ll be performing at the College of Saint Benedict Saint John’s University’s Humphrey Theater in Collegeville then we’ll be performing with Mu Daiko at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis November 21-23rd. In between the two performances we’ll be heading up to Winnipeg for workshops with Hinode Taiko. It should be a fun little tour provided we don’t get stuck in bad weather. We’ll be making posts from the road so keep checking back!

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