Posts Tagged ‘On Ensemble’

Fireside at the Miles – SOLD OUT!

Thursday, January 5th, 2017


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 – SOLD OUT!

Saturday, October 8th, 2016


Taiko Heroes 3

8:00 pm, December 3, 2016
Live Arts Los Angeles
4210 Panamint St (on the corner of Eagle Rock Blvd)
Los Angeles, CA 90065

TICKETS HERE:  Eventbrite

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

Up Next: Taiko Heroes 2

Monday, November 16th, 2015


A long time ago in a mountain town far far away… Two childhood friends grew up playing taiko together dreaming of far of destinations. When they were of age they set off to learn from the great taiko masters seeking them out in islands across the sea. They gathered knowledge, honed their skills and gathered more like minded musicians from across the land and became known as On Ensemble. Every year they set off across the galaxy in their modified (with duct tape) Toyota Engineering Corporation Sienna Model Light Freighter to spread their message of music.

It’s time for our annual concert series at the Miles Memorial Playhouse! Taiko Heroes is a chance for us to put together new material and gather friends and family to have one last concert before the year ends. It started as our ‘Works In Progress’ series and it still serves as our own creative space to try new arrangements and pieces. Recently we’ve also expanded the idea to include more people from the On Ensemble family! This year we’ll be featuring On Ensemble founding member and current LATI head instructor Kristofer Bergstrom as a guest artist as well as PROTA a young taiko group that is full of some of SoCals best young taiko talent! See you there!

Taiko Heroes 2
On Ensemble / Kris Bergstrom / PROTA
December 19th 8:00pm
December 20th 2:00pm
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
General Admission: $22.50 pre-sale/$25 door

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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

New Videos

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Finally got the videos from our February concert at the Aratani Theater with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko uploaded!

Next Up: Rotations with Ho Etsu Taiko

Saturday, August 29th, 2015


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
Tickets: $22-27
Antheneum Theatre
BOX OFFICE: 773-935-6875

Aratani Series Wrap-up

Monday, February 9th, 2015

We had a great performance this past Saturday at the Aratani World Series. A huge thank you goes out to Judy, Anu, Marcia and the staff and volunteers of the Festival of Sacred Music for all of their behind the scenes work. Thank you to EJ for making the production side run smoothly. Thank you to Ric for the GREAT lighting design and a huge thank you goes out to Nana for making us sound so great!

Here’s a few of the tracks we played! Videos coming soon!

On Ensemble and Maze Daiko: Breaking New Ground

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014


Our next performances will be a joint concert series with Maze Daiko at the Rhythmix Cultural Works on November 14th and 15th in Alameda, CA. It will be our first time performing at Rhymthmix and sharing the stage with Maze Daiko and it will be great to play in the Bay Area again! In addition to the concert we’ll be giving a workshop on Saturday November 15th from 4-6pm.

The workshop will focus on how On Ensemble approaches groove and structured improvisation. Participants will learn how to arrange patterns and timbres to build interesting grooves. An emphasis will also be put on how to use auxiliary instruments to fill out grooves and patterns. Participants will also learn how to use different approaches to arranging parts from more structured to more improvised. This workshop is open to all experience levels and ages.

Rhythmix Island Arts Presents:
On Ensemble and Maze Daiko
Taiko Fusion: Breaking New Ground
On Ensemble

When: Friday, November 14th, & Saturday, November 15th, 8pm

Taiko Workshop: Saturday, November 15th 4pm-6pm

Where: Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda

Concert Only: $20/advance, $25/day of show
Taiko Workshop: $25/advance, $30/door if space is available
Saturday 11/15 Concert + Workshop: $40 (limited tix available)

Info: (510) 865-5060

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