Posts Tagged ‘shoji kameda’

On Ensemble on 90.7fm KPFK Global Village

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

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We had a great interview on KPFK’s Global Village with Yatrika Shah-Rais. We got to talk a lot about music our influences and spread the word about our upcoming concert with Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko on Saturday February 7th. Our concert is part of the Aratani World Series and if you in Los Angeles you should go check out Waldemar Bastos this weekend!

On Ensemble
with Sumie Kaneko and Kaoru Watanabe
SATURDAY / FEBRUARY 7, 2015 / 7:00PM
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-628-2725
Tickets online at: festivalofsacredmusic.org

Online Taiko and Fue Lessons at kaDON!

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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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!

Ho Etsu Taiko Intensive

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

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I had a great weekend leading a taiko intensive for Ho Etsu Taiko. Ho Etsu Taiko originally started as a youth group with the Midwest Buddhist Temple. Four years ago they opened their membership to those outside of the temple and have become one of the most active and creative taiko ensembles in the Chicago area. They perform throughout the midwest and have worked with professional taiko players like Nagata Shachu and Tiffany Tamaribuchi and seek out collaborations with other artists in their area like noted Irish singer Paddy Homan. Here’s a link to a Chicago Tribune article about Ho Etsu Taiko, their recent collaboration with Paddy Homan and their temple’s attempts at reaching out to the surrounding communities.

In preparing for the intensive I had the group leader Jason send me videos and recordings of their recent work and was impressed with the quality of their recent work. When a group asks me to come in and work with them it’s important for me to try to get a sense of the character of the group and what they are trying to do musically and artistically. My goal is to help them become better versions of themselves and give them tools and techniques that they can use on their own to continue their artistic progress as a group. We exchanged several emails and had a face to face meeting to further understand where they are, where they want to go and come up with a set of focal points for our time together.

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When working with a group on an in depth basis I like to use pieces that they already play so that it’s more clear how they can implement different concepts that I introduce. I have found that this is much more effective than just teaching them a new drill. I’ve worked with groups in the past to improve their basic kata with a new drill and it will look great while playing the drill, playing relaxed and powerful but the moment they go back to playing the songs they are used to it just goes back to the way they were playing before. I’ve realized that it’s helpful to introduce basic concepts in a way that is more applicable right away.

Using two pieces from the groups repertoire I worked with them to improve their betta and naname basics, stage presence, listening and timing and worked with the composer of the pieces to flush out their pieces with different compositional techniques and approaches. I also taught them parts of a new composition of mine called Lion Chant and invited them to perform the piece as a part of a big multi group performance at the opening of the World Taiko Gathering. We got a lot done over the weekend and I’d like to thank Jason, Ryan, Donny, Dana, Tiana, Lannie, Emily and Alexa for all of their hard work and for taking such great care of me while in Chicago.

-shoji

Shoji Kameda is a Grammy nominated musician, composer and producer and a leading creative force in the taiko world. If you are interested in bringing him out to work with your group contact him at: shoji(at)onensemble.org.

East Coast Workshops

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

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At the end of this month I’ll be heading out to Chicago to lead a weekend intensive for Ho Etsu Taiko one of the Midwest’s leading taiko groups. After Chicago I’ll be going to New York and will be giving two workshops on April 5th at the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center:

Lion Chant Workshop 1 : Interlocking Rhythms
This workshop will introduce participants to components of Shoji’s newest piece taiko composition: Lion Chant. Focusing on simple independence this workshop will focus on the timing and technique required for creating dense layers of interlocking rhythms. This workshop will also teach part of the structure of the piece Lion Chant and will lay the foundation for learning and performing the composition. Limited to 12 participants

Mastering Omiyage
This workshop will focus on refining the technique and concepts behind Omiyage. One of the taiko world’s most exciting and performed compositions Omiyage is now performed by taiko groups throughout the world. Learn to master the subtleties of the movements and composition from the creator himself. Limited to 12 participants

Schedule:
10 am to 1 pm: Lion Chant
1 pm lunch
2 to 5 pm: Omiyage

Fee (includes lunch)
For KWTC members:
$55 for one workshop, $95 for both
For non-members:
$60 for one workshop, $105 for both
RSVP by emailing mari@taikonyc.com

On Ensemble with Sumie Kaneko at the Getty Center

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

We had a great weekend of performances at the Getty Center for the Sounds of LA series with special guest Sumie Kaneko. The performances were free and reservations for tickets for both shows were sold out. Personally I couldn’t think of a better series to play for than “Sounds of LA”. I always feel like On Ensemble has a very Los Angeles sound. We are all about the particular mix of cultures and influences that happen here in SoCal. Where else would a taiko, throat singing, drum kit, koto, shamisen, vibraphone playing band seem so natural?

We brought out a special guest Sumie Kaneko from NY for this performance and it was really great performing with her. I had performed with her for a separate project in Houston but this was the first time she came to perform with On Ensemble and it was a perfect match. Sumie really adds a whole other layer of possibility and depth to our music and I’m really excited about working with her again in the future.

Lastly we’d like to give a shout out to Sabrina and Laurel for bringing us to the Getty Center. To Sarah, Caitlin and Tony for taking such good care of us and to Chris, Gus, Michael and Bill for making us sound and look great on stage! Thank you!

Also thank you to Kim, Ayano and Joe for volunteering and helping us sell merch! Kim also took these great photos of the performance and rehearsal. Thanks Kim!

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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.

Bizarre Heroes the album

Friday, May 31st, 2013



Okay… So not going to crush my first video that is okay. I got off topic and forgot a mention a bunch of stuff. Like we have a revamped music page powered by Bandcamp. And forget about the part when I said our early stuff is too eclectic and doesn’t work… It’s all awesome and our previous two albums are also available through Bandcamp and you should probably get them if you don’t have them already. Our album will be available at OnEnsemble.org for a month then you’ll be able to find it on iTunes, CDBaby and at your local taiko fusion music store. Take a listen and I hope you enjoy the album!



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