Posts Tagged ‘Taiko’

On Ensemble: Taiko Heroes Concert

Friday, October 10th, 2014


The story thus far…
30 years ago two childhood friends picked up the bachi for the first time. Trained by taiko masters in the mountains of Northern California, the islands of Hawai’i and the streets of Tokyo, Shoji and Maz set off into the world to gather their own team of taiko heroes. Many answered the call of the drum. Kris the vegan, bike commuting, namer of phrases was the first join. Then Eien the beer sensei, master of the atarigane and vibraphone answered the call. From the islands of Hawai’i Abe the smiling multi instrumentalist assassin joined the group. Finally David a taiko hero from the next generation emerged to become a member. Their group complete Shoji and Maz set off to create a new sound that would bring together their experiences playing in rock bands, producing electronic music, studying gamelan and traveling around the world learning and performing. They practiced their melodies, odd meter grooves and improvisational skills and their group of taiko heroes became known throughout the land as On Ensemble.

Join us for two nights of great music at the Miles Memorial Playhouse.

On Ensemble: Taiko Heroes Concert
Friday Oct 24th 8:00pm
Saturday Oct 25th 8:00pm

$25 General Admission
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

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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!



Works In Progress at the Miles Memorial Playhouse

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Come join us in the new year for our final Works In Progress concert of the season! We’ll be performing at the Miles Memorial Playhouse on Saturday January 18th at 8:00pm.

Our Works In Progress concerts are the foundation of our creativity. They allow On Ensemble to experiment, to push our boundaries, and deepen our musical exploration. For this final Works In Progress concert we’ll be joined Yuta Kato, David Wells, Kaz Mogi and Jason Osajima and will be featuring some larger ensemble versions of the pieces we’be been working on. Should be a lot of fun and a great way to cap our Works In Progress season.

Work In Progress 2014
Saturday Jan 18th
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90503

Tickets: $5 students/seniors $10 adults
Reservations: (310) 458-8634 or email name, date, number of tickets and phone number to

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 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!

Shamisen / Err performance wrap-up

Monday, October 19th, 2009

My sincere thanks to Kineya Yasoyo and the volunteers that worked to make yesterday’s fundraiser performance happen!

As part of the show, I played “Err”, the solo piece I’ve been working on for the last four years or so. The piece is inspired by CD technology and incorporates puzzles into the rhythms and the musical score. It’s still a work in progress but I’m making small steps here and there. Here’s a clip!

Taiko with Kanye West at the VMA

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

I didn’t watch the VMAs this year but heard that Kanye West sang his new song “Love Lockdown” with a bunch of taiko players as backup from Danny this morning. I searched the web and found the video but couldn’t find anything about who the taiko players were. According to Maz it was members from Zendeko and Kishin so I went to their website but couldn’t find any information… Can anyone confirm who it was?

Anyways, more great exposure for taiko! Seems like there is taiko everywhere these days! Great job to whoever was involved, it was a cool concept. Kanye West with back-up taiko robots… very cool.

On Ensemble November workshop tour!

Sunday, September 7th, 2008
On Ensemble taiko workshops

Along with performances in the Minneapolis area and Winnipeg, On Ensemble will be visiting taiko groups along the route and offering a number of taiko workshops!  If you’re a taiko player in or around any of the following cities, please let us know if you’re interested in a workshop or private lesson!

On Ensemble taiko workshops coming to:

Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Lincoln, St Louis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Winnipeg

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