Friends and Family,
I hope the arrival of 2014 brings all of you with prospects of a renewed endeavor towards, most importantly, health and happiness and, if necessary, prosperity!
For me, 2013 was full of change, growth and adventure - all I could really hope for. I had the pleasure of performing in various projects led by such artists as Adam Rudolph, Imani Uzuri, Alicia Hall Moran, Skye Steele, Tamango, Sumie Kaneko, Elena Moon Park, Shane Shanahan, On Ensemble and Maureen Fleming.
Imani Uzuri @ Joe’s Pub w. Marika Hughes, Christian Ver Halen, Todd Isler and Neel Murgai
motown project with Alicia Hall Moran
I led or co-led groups which included such wonderful folks as Kenny Endo, Ryutaro Kaneko, Tetsuro Naito, Daniel Rosen, Isaku Kageyama, Satoshi Takeishi, Ralph Samuelson, Akihito Obama, So Percussion, Shoji Kameda, Kyo Daiko, Matt Kilmer, Chris Dingman, Tim Keiper, Barbara Merjan, Marika Hughes, Sarah Schoenbeck and many many others.
Music from Japan with Kenny Endo, March 2013
Tohoku Caravan Tour w. Daniel Rosen, Tetsuro Naito, Ryutaro Kaneko, Tsubasa Horii, April 2013
Asia Society w. Ralph Samuelson, Sumie Kaneko and Akihito Obama
On stage at Lincoln Center Out of Doors concert, August 2013
So Percussion and the Joshua Light Show, River to River Festival, July 2013
Motions (incl. Chris Dingman, Tim Keiper, Matt Kilmer) @ Blue Note
Musical adventures took me to Barbados, Trinidad, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and here and there across the US. InNew York, I performed in such venues as the Shapeshifter Lab, Joe’s Pub, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Delacorte Theater, Highline Ballroom, The Stone, Blue Note, Brooklyn Bowl, Cornelia Street Cafe and Le Poisson Rouge. A special thanks to Taikoz, Japan Foundation, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, Ranjo flutes, Asano Taiko U.S., amongst many other others for their continued support and collaboration.
Taikoz in Australia
Barbados and Trinidad w. Isaku Kageyama through Japan Foundation, January 2013
The Tempest, Shakespeare in the Park @ the Delacorte Theater, September 2013
Joe’s Pub w. Kenny Endo, Dec 2013
Visiting Ranjo (fue maker) in Chiba, Japan
In mid-summer, a long held dream of having my own dedicated studio was realized after weeks of soundproofing, flooring, and other work. Since fall of 2013, I’ve been holding classes, workshops and rehearsals in the studio and am planning to greatly expand activities there in 2014.
Taiko studio – before renovation
Taiko studio – after renovation
On a personal note, the biggest news of 2013 was the birth of my daughter Shinobu on August 9th. My relationship with Mari has gotten stronger as we are focussed on each other’s health and happiness in a much more determined and conscious way. Shinobu comes to a lot of my shows and has gained notoriety for having a great disposition and laughing all the time. She is light and joy and we are so grateful for her presence.
Looking ahead to 2014, I want to continue studying, performing and composing in a more focussed manner – time is much more limited with Shinobu around! I thank everyone for their continued support and friendship and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Happy New Year to all! Looking forward to sharing many more adventures in 2014.
In gratitude and sincerity,