The Beverly Center, with its posh shops and opulent clientele, might be the last place you’d expect to find a high-energy taiko performance early on a Friday morning. Nevertheless Taikoproject was there in full force one recent Friday in October for the grand opening of UNIQLO LA’s latest shop.

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By the time the ribbon-cutting ceremony began, numerous customers were already lined up to be among the first to get their hands on some sweet UNIQLO goods–we had a surprisingly large audience! A couple of short songs to get everyone’s attention, and a big drumroll when the grand ribbon was being cut. 20141010_09182220141010_101331

We all enjoyed the fringe benefits of a clothing store opening–cast members got the chance to enter the store early and pick out a down vest to match our tee-shirts. Talk about rock-star treatment. Tabi and puffy vest… most stylish Taikoproject performance to date? Probably.

After the store had been open for a while we played Many Sides for some customers coming out of the store and packed up the drums for the remaining small shows throughout the weekend.

All in all, we had a blast! Thanks again to UNIQLO for including us in this event (and for the excellent gear!).

 

On Sept 18 we had the opportunity to perform on the USS Midway in San Diego. The USS Midway is an aircraft carrier turned museum that sits in the San Diego harbor. According to our friends over at Wikipedia, “she served for an unprecedented 47 years, having seen action in the Vietnam War and been the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991’s Operation Desert Storm” Our  performance was part of an appreciation dinner held for the museum volunteers. As an SD native, it’s always very special when I have the chance to play taiko at home! This time, I got to play alongside Jenny and Bryan.

The equipment load-in was one of the more interesting load-in’s I’ve ever done (Nothing can top strapping taiko to ski lifts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming). In order to get our drums onto the flight deck, we first had to load our drums into a shipping container on the dock. A forklift then raised the container halfway up the aircraft carrier. We then pushed our drums through the museum and finally took an elevator onto the flight deck. Here are some pics!

 

 

Eventually we found our dressing room. We shared a small room with some Hawaiian dancers. After a few hours of chasing seagulls and pretending to be in Top Gun, it was time to perform. We were preceded by a Chinese dancing troupe. The idea of the program was to follow the Midway on one of it’s past tours, having a performance represent each of the countries it passed through. We played a 3-person version of Many Sides that the audience seemed to love!

 

After our performance it was time to pack up and head home! Till next time SD!

 

 

 

 

We recently performed for the students and families of Alderwood Elementary School.  I was excited to perform for this school because it is located in Irvine, which is where I attended university.  This was an evening performance complete with food trucks and popcorn!  We gladly accepted the generous bags of popcorn to energize ourselves for the show.

We had a great time playing at Family Night!  Thank you to all of the Owls of Alderwood for having us!

Popcorn-y!

Popcorn-y!

Classroom detention time for eating all the popcorn.

Classroom detention time for eating all the popcorn.

 

TAIKOPROJECT was honored to be a part of the Los Angeles County Fair this year on September 17th. The Gold Mine Stage was our home, and from there we could smell the deep fried everything. It was amazing! Thank you to the crowds who came out to watch and document the show. We truly loved having you all!

 

As you can see, we got to try some of the yummy foods too. Yeee!

 

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If you were in the crowd that night, find yourself in the video below!

 

http://youtu.be/GJ6uBGLgwqY

 

Hello Great Big World!

In honor of throw-back-thursday (and because I’m delinquent on blogging), here’s a quick bit of What-Happened-After-World-Taiko-Gathering. So after a hectic weekend of that small gathering of taiko peeps from all around the world, we got to enjoy some good food, good people, good dancing..and of course more taiko (performing, that is) at the annual Higashi obon! Just so you have it on record, it was July 26-27.

The weekend included the whole TP family :D Oh look, I found a picture via the TP facebook:

For more pictures, please visit our facebook https://www.facebook.com/TAIKOPROJECT

There were some first and last performances this weekend. For the first time performances, the Monday beginners’ class and Saturday Newport Beach Higashi class joined forces to perform “Big Surprise” (sorry if I got the song name wrong :-/). As we welcomed newbies to the stage, we also bid farewell to two of our Kitsune performing members: Sean and Ashley. They have made their way through high school, SATs and senioritis to join the ranks of the collegiate worlds of UCLA and UCI, respectively. But lo and behold, both schools have taiko groups of their own!…so hopefully it will not be the last we see of them playing taiko.

It was a weekend of awesome, exciting..and sweaty performances (yes, it was quite warm); hopefully it was enough to burn off all the food that was consumed :P There was a bunch of obon dancing too. I’m sure that helped burn some calories as well.

If you missed this year’s obon, don’t worry, just come join us next year! Now to leave you with a random quote…because I can…

“If you never did you should. These things are fun. And fun is good.” – Dr. Seuss

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