Hey, Hi, and Hello TAIKOPROJECT followers!!

It seems like so long since my last post (2014 World Taiko Gathering) and its nice to be back sharing some more of my adventures with TAIKOPROJECT.  You may have noticed the trend that I enjoy doing video blogs (vlogging) for some of our events and I hope that all of you like watching them.  It is like getting a backstage pass as you follow along with the cast wherever we might be headed.  Our newest vlogs are going to be an ongoing segment of our adventures at the 2014 Nebraska State Fair!  I won’t go too in depth about the event because Maz will be reporting in for the first half of our 11 day run at the fair.  So please enjoy our first two videos and be sure to check back for more days at the fair in the future!

If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our vlog channel (TP.taiko.TV) for new vlogs and fun videos! Subscribe Here!
If you have a twitter you can also follow us @TPtaikoTV and who knows maybe we will do a Q&A video or challenge video!

For your enjoyment we do like to have fun too, so please enjoy our “Bubble Pop” remix at the Nebraska State Fair and beyond on the TP.taiko.TV channel so be sure to visit to check that video out.  Believe me, you won’t want to miss it! :)

 

On August 9th, we performed for Metamoris 4, the 4th annual MMA grappling tournament located at the Peterson Automotive Museum. We had front row seats playing taiko to introduce the fighters for each round, and even playing during their 20 minute round to add some dramatic effect. If you don’t know what grappling (I didn’t until this event) check out this youtube link for event highlights! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDhW6ERd2dU

 

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Hi everyone!

Tomomi here blogging about one of our last school shows that we did for the 2013-2014 school season! Back in June, we got the opportunity to perform at Pacific Elementary School out in Manhattan Beach. We did a few gigs in the morning, separated by the grade level. One thing that was super cool about this gig was that all the students were really excited when we mentioned the Cherry Blossom festival in San Francisco! Apparently, one of the main projects that the student do while they’re in the 1st grade is to research on all sorts of cultural events and when we mentioned Tanaka Sensei and the Cherry Blossom festival, the entire the student body gasp in excitement. Playing for young kids is always fun :]

Here are some pictures from the gig!

Prepped and ready!

Prepped and ready!

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Fue practice time

Fue practice time

Notice anything different about Maz's costume? :]

Notice anything different about Maz’s costume? :]

Can’t wait for this upcoming year’s school shows!

 

Hey, Hi, and Hello Taikoproject Blog Readers!

Welcome to our blog and if you are a new comer we are glad that you are here! If you are a returner, welcome back and thanks for checking in to see what TAIKOPROJECT has been up to! July has been a very busy month with daily performances at the San Diego Safari Park as well as hosting the 2014 World Taiko Gathering in Little Tokyo. Here is a little mix of blog and vlog from the 2014 World Taiko Gathering! Hope you guys enjoy and be sure to like and subscribe to our new vlog channel, “TPtaikoTV”!

The 2014 World Taiko Gathering was held on July 17th -20th and we hosted participants and workshop leaders from all around the world for a weekend filled with taiko workshops, discussion sections, and performances. We had attendees from Japan, Brazil, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.K. and we all came together in LA to learn and better understand each other’s taiko styles and gain a sense of international taiko community. It was fantastic meeting so many of you during the WTG weekend and we hope you had an amazing time! So let’s break down the weekend.

Thursday July 17, 2014, the first day of the World Taiko Gathering.   Registration was busy handing out registration packets to all of the attendees and workshop leaders, and in the evening we held a welcome reception for our guests. At the welcome reception we had a joint performance of “Ashura” by three local taiko groups, Kinnara Taiko, Bombu Taiko and Chikara Taiko, as well as a “How long you have been playing taiko” Jam session. It was great to see and meet everyone and reconnect with people in the taiko community. Thanks to all the SoCal taiko groups who brought food to share for our potluck! We couldn’t have fed everyone without your help so thank you for pitching in! You Rock!

Friday July 18, 2014. We kicked off the morning with a very educational opening session where there was a performance of “Lion Chant” along with presentations by representatives from around the world to talk about taiko in their respective regions. It was so fascinating to learn about how taiko came to be in other countries. After the opening session it was time to start the first round of workshops. In the evening we held a free outdoor performance outside of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) called “Lunar Jam”. It was fun to watch groups from near and far perform! Kudos Lunar Jam performers!!

Saturday July 20, 2014. Saturday was the big day for workshops so the equipment team worked really hard to make sure drums were in the right place at the right time all day long. At lunch time we had two “Nooner Jam” performance locations, outside of the JANM and in the Japanese Village Plaza, so it was hard to miss that there was a taiko function going on since everywhere you turned there was taiko. Great work Nooner Jam-ers! Later that evening was the first Taiko Nation performance at the Aratani/Japanese American Theater where we featured groups from around the world to perform. There were performances by Taro Kobayashi (Tokyo, Japan), SenRai (Sendai, Japan), Kagemusha Taiko (U.K.), TaikOz (Sydney, Australia), Chieko Kojima, Eiichi Saito (Sado, Japan) and Kaoru Watanabe (New York), Kenny Endo (Hawaii), TAIKOPROJECT (LA) and we had some international guest performers in “The Stroll” Grete Moortgat (Belgium), Lucas Muraguchi (Brazil), Michelle de Nevares (Argentina), and Isabel Romeo (Spain). Lets not forget the amazing finale performance of “Tsunami” lead by grand master Seiichi Tanaka (father of American Taiko) from San Francisco Taiko Dojo. The energy was great and the audience was amazing, it was truly an incredible experience to share the stage with so many talented and accomplished taiko players.

Sunday July 20, 2014. The last day of WTG had come too soon. The morning started early with a “Matsuri Crashers” where battlers went head to head to bust out their best Matsuri solos and the audience would declare the winner. Then it was time for the closing session where we had a raffle with many wonderful prizes and members of the taiko community spoke about the hopes and future of World Taiko Gatherings to come. Then we closed out the day with a matinee and evening performance of Taiko Nation. Once all the equipment was packed, we finally were able to call it a day and retire ourselves from the taiko packed weekend.

We need to send out a huge thank you to all of the workshop leaders, volunteers, performers and participants from near and far for making the 2014 World Taiko Gathering such a huge success. It really is special to be a part of this international taiko community and we are so grateful for all the support. To all of the new friends made at the WTG, let’s keep the “Taiko Magic” alive and strong for years to come and let us never forget the 2014 World Taiko Gathering that brought us together. See you next time!

 

Hello folks, Blaine here with a Safari park update!

It’s been several weeks now since we’ve started doing daily sets at the San Diego Zoo Safari park in Escondido.  It’s been a great challenge for newer members such as myself.  The audience size and age is different each day, so we’re really getting a feel for what parts of our show work with certain people.

 

The Safari Park stage

The Safari Park stage

 

Each day we meet at the “green room” (it’s a barn) and get changed and assign parts for our set.  Getting some stage time with new parts is great practice for new members!

 

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We’ve been playing classics like Expanding, Here we go now, and Many Sides.  But we also occasionally throw in some other fun stuff like Symmetrical Soundscapes and Shishimai.  Bryan did a very funny Shishimai that had the audience laughing, (and toddlers crying. . .)

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There are Hawks constantly circling the Safari Park.  They're onto us. . .

There are Hawks constantly circling the Safari Park. They’re onto us. . .

 

That’s all for now, thank you to the city of Escondido for being a great host!  This quaint town has awesome food and fun weekend fairs in the summer.  Be sure to stop by and visit the Safari Park before we’re gone!

 

-Blaine

 

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