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News

Weblog of Kaoru Watanabe, NY based Flute/Fue player

February Update

Fumi Tanakadate

Hello Friends and family,

It's been an interesting year so far to say the least. I'm trying to stay positive, creative and proactive through all that is happening. With the deliberate intent of fighting the ignorance and hatred permeating and emboldened in our global society these days, I promise to keep pushing my art forward, to continue working with an ever more diverse array of collaborators.

I will be performing at Joe's Pub on Feb 25th with the great Kenny Endo, a huge influence and inspiration in my life- in a way a singular predecessor to my path, a Japanese American who moved to Japan and lived there for a decade studying and working with the vanguard of Japanese artists.

Read More

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Fumi Tanakadate

2016 was a milestone for me personally and it came and went without me even realizing it: Ten years ago, I left Japan and started a new life in Brooklyn, NY in 2006.

I had actually made my decision to leave Kodo in 2005. I told then director Ryutaro Kaneko on the ferry ride back to Sado after a Spring tour of my decision to leave and his response, I remember clearly was: 遂に来たか (So finally the time has come!). This was about a month before my directorial debut of Earth Celebration, a big annual festival where Kodo hosts groups from all over the world for collaborations and Ryutaro san recommended two things: 1) I wait until after Earth Celebration to make the announcement 2) if I really wanted to do things right by Kodo, I should stretch my transition out for about a year.

Read More

Reflecting on last month and moving forward...

Fumi Tanakadate

Last month, almost thirty taiko players, coming from as far away as by Buenos Aires, visited my home to study with first Chieko Kojima and then Kazuhiro and Hidenori Tsumura. People were treated to in-depth physical training (a memorable two hour period of time was spent on just the elusive left arm technique of Miyake island drumming) as well as comprehensive lectures on the history, the traditions and the evolution of traditional performing arts of the Hachijo and Miyake islands. The artists also spoke at length of their personal relationship to music and the struggles and challenges they faced along their journey. I saw many participants in tears as they listened to these inspirational stories.

Read More

October Update

Fumi Tanakadate

While I was living in Japan the end of the summer was marked by Earth Celebration, Kodo's annual world music festival and the Bon (ancestral) celebration in the town of Ogi where I lived. Earth Celebration to me was an intense period of the year for me- a month of sheer exhaustion from countless rehearsals and meetings, the physical labor of putting up and then taking down a large outdoor stage, high energy performances with top class musicians from across the globe and most important, seeing friends new and old, many of whom come from oceans away for the festivities. 

Life in NY for me doesn't have that relentless backbreaking pace but has a different sort of intensity and fulfillment. In the past couple of months, I debuted a new group, mixing Brazilian and latin jazz musicians and Korean traditional/contemporary music to my own sound. I also continued to develop existing groups and taking part in other people's projects, including an interesting theater project- a brand new work-in-progress that, while set in the Jim Crow era resonates heavily with current day politics regarding immigration, assimilation, racism and violence. 

On a very different note, I was honored to be a judge in an online shinobue competition in Japan. While in close contact with fue players and other instrumentalists of traditional instruments, I don't have the opportunity to interact or hear amateur musicians very often. For those of you interested in seeing how the results and all the participants' entrees, please click here:
http://contest.rippei.com/result/

COMING UP:

Kiyohime on Sado x Chieko Kojima w/ Kaoru Watanabe
Sunday, October 9th | 6pm | $15
ShapeShifter Lab | 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215

A long time collaborator and friend, Chieko Kojima, one of the founding members of my old group Kodo, will be in NY to give an intensive weekend workshop at my studio. Then on October 9th, we will perform together at Shapeshifter at 6 pm in conjunction with the opening of a photography exhibition by Maiko Miyagawa, someone responsible for many iconic images of Kodo from the last couple of decades. We will be joined by Fumi Tanakadate and Gamin, one of the foremost practitioners of traditional, contemporary and improvisational Korean music. Chieko is a rare performer, able to create fantastical worlds through her movements and rhythm. This concert's main theme is Kiyohime, a character from Japanese folklore made famous in the Noh play Dojoji- a woman whose unrequited love for a buddhist priest transforms her into a giant snake demon.  Fun!
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/307233399635979/
ShapeShifter Lab website: http://www.shapeshifterlab.com/
Photo credit: Maiko Miyagawa http://soaring-photo.com/


The following weekend we will be hosting an intensive weekend workshop as well as short Sunday workshop by two brothers from the Tsumura family, the most renowned practitioners of the traditional festival music of Miyake Island. 


On October 20th, Thursday, I will be performing with another longtime collaborator and friend, the great Kenny Endo at Mansfield Theater Great Falls in Montana. Following soon after that will be lots of traveling for performances and workshops at Cornell University, Brussels, Paris, Hamburg, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Diego and New York to close out the year. More information to come.

Hope to see you all around!

September Update

Fumi Tanakadate

The summer has been very fruitful. I have recently finished shooting a whirlwind 6 courses for KaDON, an online instructional resource presented by one of the most venerable taiko makers in Japan, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten. The courses, which will be uploaded over the course of the next year, range from fue fundamentals, fue improvisation (which delved into various Japanese pentatonic scales, embellishments, phrasing, rhythm and ear training), fue melodies (I presented 10 simple and a couple not-so-simple melodies for students to learn by ear), taiko fundamentals (posture, body awareness, using a metronome, etc), stage presence (how to move instruments in a safe, efficient and elegant way), and finally an advanced level course on my own composition called Prism. 

 

The reason I decided to teach Prism is that there are many compositional elements in the piece that I don't see many taiko players deal with in terms of rhythms and structured improvisations. I wanted to give people tools - and some courage - to write pieces that are less conventional, perhaps challenging the notion of what people think of when composing for taiko and fue. We spend time learning about polyrhythms- 3 over 2, 5 over two, 9 over two, etc. We practice going between rhythms subdivided in triplets and subdivided in sixteenth notes and playing phrases that decidedly avoid down beats. We learned about how to improvise over unconventional ji patterns. The player must create a compelling musical story in way that fits within the mood and tone of the composition, all while counting odd numbers of beats and phrases and not loosing the beat. I'm happy with how the courses turned out in the shoot, now it's time for the pros to edit them so I sound like I'm at least half articulate!

 

In terms of performances, while I've been working off and on with one of Yo-Yo Ma's groups for a couple years now and I'm featured on one track of his new album, I finally shared the stage with the maestro for the first time. I was at the prestigious Tanglewood Summer Institute where for a week I taught improvisation and Japanese music to some of the top young classical musicians in the world. It was inspiring to be among such talented and driven young musicians and gratifying that I felt I could offer them something from my experience.


I worked for the first time with the great musicians in Rubens Salles' group at the Brazilian Festival at Cornelia Street Cafe. Purely by coincidence, I played the following evening at the Cornelia Street Cafe's Percussion Festival with my own new ensemble featuring, among others, a Brazilian percussionist named Rogerio Baccato who didn't play in the Brazilian Festival this time and a bass player named Edward Perez, who played in the Brazilian Festival the same night I did, but just in a different band. By the way, I first met Edward about 20 years ago while in high school.

I am busy preparing for a couple concerts this month as well as a variety of projects coming up in fall: performances with various folks- members of Kodo, Kenny Endo, PAN Project, Gamin and others - in Belgium, Paris and Antwerp, Montana, California, Philadelphia, Edmonton, New York and elsewhere. More information on all of that as the dates near.

August Update

Fumi Tanakadate

Hello friends and family,

I'm writing this the day after returning from a week at Avaloch Farm- a beautiful ranch deep in the New Hampshire countryside where composers, soloists and chamber ensembles are provided an environment conducive to developing new works. 

I was a part of the PAN Project, a new ensemble that features forward-thinking musicians of traditional instruments from China, Korea and Japan. We spent hours upon hours teaching each other melodies and rhythms as well as improvising together. We spent even more hours discussing our traditions, our instruments as well as our personal artistic processes. We devoted a great deal of time to understanding the various ways to preserve the essential qualities of our respective musics while creating a unified ensemble sound. These discussions ranged in topic from intonation, embellishments, compositional structures, timbre, and volume (the talk about whether to amplify or not took a good part of one morning). We spoke of the various subtle differences between the court musics, theater musics, festival music, shamanistic musics, ritual music, secular musics of our respective countries, as well as how we blend with musics of other styles of music and other countries. One theme that kept coming up was the desire of all musicians involved to find authenticity within themselves and a desire to make music without compromise.

I found myself constantly referring to the many collaborations I've had over the last couple of decades and reflect on how my work continues to rely on the influx of information and inspiration gleaned from these collaborations. I have performed with Mongolian throat singers, dancers from Burkina Faso, stilt dancers from the Ivory Coast, Indian tabla players, electro-acoustic hurdy-gurdy players, Galician bag-pipe players, steel pan players in Trinidad, Romanian brass bands, Brazilian capoeiristas, Polynesian nose flute players and on and on. Due to lack of time or funding, a couple of these interactions were one-off jam session type situations. Most however, involved in-depth back and forth exchanges, like the one described above. I often walk away from all these projects with more questions than answers but at least I feel like my questions are getting better.

This coming week I will be continuing along this path, teaching and leading ensembles for Silk Road Project's Global Musician Workshop at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Other things happening this month include performing with Gamin, a master musician of Korean traditional music and fearless improvisor and bassist Edward Perez and my continued work with a group of LGBTQ youth at the New Museum as part of Simone Leigh's important exhibition Waiting Room. 

A few great reviews of my new album Néo are popping up here and there. Please read them here:

Drum!, Feature story, 07/07/2016, Kaoru Watanabe
Songlines, Album review, 07/01/2016, Asia Reviews Attachment
All About Jazz, Album review, 04/13/2016, Kaoru Watanabe: Néo Text
RootsWorld, Album review, 06/10/2016, Kaoru Watanabe talks with RootsWorld:s Tyran Grillo about his latest work, Néo Text

And here are a few upcoming shows this month:

8/4 - 9 Silkroad Project Global Musician Workshop @Tanglewood Music Festival
8/27 Rubens Salles @the Cornelia Street Cafe Brazil Festival|10.30pm|$20 cover includes a drink
8/28 Kaoru Watanabe with Gamin and Edward Perez @ the Cornelia Street Cafe Percussion Festival|8.30pm|$20 cover includes a drink

Thank you for your continued support!

Sayun Chang

Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska! I had a concert with Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Chieko Kojima of Kodo a few days ago at the Alaska Performing Arts Center. For those of you who don't know who they are, Chieko and Yoshikazu are members of the original Ondekoza group, as well as founding members of Kodo. They are legendary in the world of contemporary taiko and dance and after spending ten years on the road with them, they are like family to me. I hadn't performed with Chieko san in about two years and haven't worked with Yoshikazu san in about five. 

At one point in the concert, Chieko san and I improvised for about ten minutes together- listening, watching, reacting to the others movements and sounds. The performance had many sections- slow to fast and everything in between, ebbs and flows and moments of sheer silence- all of it unplanned. 

The day after the concert, our hosts, a local taiko group called Tomodachi Daiko took us camping and to see the glaciers. Yoshikazu san and I ended up at one point alone tending to a fire for about an hour. The sky was as bright as dusk although it was well past midnight. All in all, it was wonderful catching up with these old friends and sharing the stage with them. 

Chieko will be teaching at my Brooklyn studio in October this year and we will be performing together October 9th. More info on that to come.

Coming up for me in the meantime, a few different projects. First up, a multi-disciplinary opera and film by old/new friend Leyna Marika P. called Song, running at Here Theater June 29th through July 2nd. I say old/new because I only formally met her in recent years although our parents have known each other for decades. As usual, I will be playing fue, taiko and a god-like fox character. The opera will also feature Kamala Sankaram, Ava Mendoza and others. Please check out this link to support! 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/song--2#/  

I am proud to be a part of Simone Leigh's The Waiting Room at the New Museum. Each week, eight young adults from the Hetrick-Martin Institute, an organization that provides services for LGBTQ youth and is an ongoing partner of the New Museum, will meet to make drums and learn taiko drumming with musician Kaoru Watanabe.

http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/simone-leigh-the-waiting-room

I will be performing with Sumie Kaneko at Tenri Cultural Center on July 8th.

January/February updates

Sayun Chang

Hello friends,

 I have a couple of shows coming up in NY that I'm very excited about. The Brooklyn-based collective Motions (with Chris Dingman, Tim Keiper, Matt Kilmer and myself) is finishing out what has developed into a three month long residency at the East Village venue Nublu. We've been experimenting with different iterations of the group - bringing in such artists as Ches Smith, Tamango and Yasushi Nakamura and having amazing guests sitting in with us. Our next (and last for the time being) show is this coming Sunday, January 25th at 9pm.  Keita Ogawa will be joining us on percussion with other special guests.

 After that I'll be in LA for about week performing with the great On Ensemble and Sumie Kaneko. Back in New York after that, I'll be performing with long-time collaborator and mentor Kenny Endo with my group Ne-O Ensemble at Shapeshifter. I'm honored and excited to have been asked by Shapeshifter to be one of their first artists-in-residence as part of their new non-profit Shapeshifter Plus. We will be presenting a series of concerts and workshops over the course of a year and this event is a sort of pre-residency celebration.

 The following day, I will be flying to Japan for some performances with such artists as Semba Kiyohiko, Tetsuro Naito, Shogo Yoshi, Yuko Miyagawa and the great calligrapher Koji Kakinuma.

 Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support and friendship.

 

Happy New Year!

kaoru watanabe

Happy New Year to one and all!

As 2014 comes to an end, I'm feeling immense gratitude for all the people who've given me the opportunity to share my music and art. Trying to make a living in New York as an artist is a constant challenge- full of instability, doubt and frustration and having a young child to support makes things that much more complicated. However, all these challenges only makes one's resolve stronger and the rewards that much sweeter.

This year, I had the great pleasure to perform with a wide variety of artists including Elena Moon Park, Sachiyo Ito, Sumie Kaneko, Shane Shanahan, Kenny Endo, Motions with Tim Keiper, Matt Kilmer and Chris Dingman, Adam Rudolph, Tetsuro Naito, Patrick Graham, TaikOz, So Percussion, Hadi Eldebek, Ned Rothenberg, Jerome Harris, Samm Bennett, On Ensemble, Abe Lagrimas, Chieko Kojima and Eichi Saito from Kodo, Semba Kiyohiko, Kaori Takahashi, Ralph Samuelson, Steve Gorn, Tamango, Shogo Yoshi, Satoshi Takeishi, Shoko Nagai and Jonathan Goldberger, Ne-O Ensemble, Gutbucket and Marvin Sewell with performances in Sydney, Tokyo and Fukushima, Montreal, Puerto Rico, LA, SF, NY and DC. I taught another semester at Princeton University, did workshops and performances through such organizations as the Silk Road Project, Midori and Friends, the Japanese Consulate, Music From Japan and others.

In terms of my educational activities, my taiko school, the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center (KWTC) enjoyed the first full year in our Crown Heights space.  Besides teaching weekly classes, we hosted three weekend long intensives, led by Tetsuro Naito and Patrick Graham, Kazuhiro and Hidenori Tsumura from Miyake Island and Chieko Kojima from Kodo, as well as two workshops by Shoji Kameda from On Ensemble. Also, I'm proud to be one of the instructors for kaDON, an online taiko and fue instructional series presented by one of the most respected taiko makers in Japan, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten.    

As for some things that I'm looking forward to in 2015, performances in LA and Japan in the Spring and some fun touring in the fall. Also, I'll be teaching alongside and performing with Yo Yo Ma and other inspiring artists in June as part of the Silk Road Projects Global Musician Workshop. I've been composing a lot recently and am starting to see new directions that my music is heading in.

Besides all the people mentioned above, I'm thankful for Ranjo, the man responsible for making all of my amazing shinobue bamboo flutes for his continued support, guidance and friendship.  None of my activities would be possible without my wonderful family stretched wide across the US and Japan.  

Most importantly, I give thanks to my wife Mari and daughter Shinobu for their sacrifice, their fire and love.

Happy New Year to all!

Kaoru

Last performance of the year!

kaoru watanabe

This is the first time I'm posting directly to my new website- I'm still figuring out how to add pictures and move things around with catastrophically altering the original layout.  Thanks for visiting this page and please continue to do so.  Please contact me and I will try my best to respond.  I also promise to try to keep things up to date and post often.

SO, I have a few pieces of news that I'm very excited about.

1) The upcoming show at Shapeshifter featuring Satoshi Takeishi, Shoko Nagai and Jonathan Goldberger and members of Ne-O

2) I have been asked to be one of the faculty of the Global Musican Workshop (GMW) next summer at Depaul University. GMW is presented by Silk Road Project and among the faculty will be Yo Yo Ma himself.  Very excited to be a part of this.  Info here.  

3) kaDON, an online Taiko and Fue video resource that I'm honored to be a part of is offering a year-end shimedaiko give away. Please go here for more info.  

November Activities

Bryce Craig

Hello friends!

Among a few performances I have this month, I’m excited to announce that Motions, a collective of Matt Kilmer, Tim Keiper, Chris Dingman and myself, has been asked to extend a residency at the great East Village spot Nublu on Sunday nights. We will be presenting compositions by all four members as well as improvisations.

I’m also excited to working with old friend from high school Ty Citerman and his great band Gutbucket during their residency at the Stone as well as a few concerts featuring my Japanese music Ne-O Ensemble. Check out the Calendar for all upcoming shows!

Sincerely,

Kaoru

 

 

August/September Updates

Jin Jin Chiu

Hello Friends, The last couple of weeks have been an intense period of activity- three weekends ago, I was performing and teaching at the first ever World Taiko Gathering (WTG). WTG and the other such gatherings, such as North American Taiko Conference (NATC), Collegiate Taiko Invitational and the East Coast Taiko Conference (ECTC) are great opportunities to connect with old friends and make new ones.

I've been playing taiko since 1986 and attended the first NATC in 1997 while I was playing with Soh Daiko. This was also the year before I moved to Japan to become a Kodo apprentice.

The concerts at WTG were titled Taiko Nation and featured six different groups and individual artists. I had the great pleasure of performing with two of them, the virtuosic TaikOz from Australia (with whom Kenny Endo was also a special guest) as well as a trio made up of two veterans of Kodo, Chieko Kojima and Eiichi Saito and myself. It was interesting to recall the conference I attended in '97, back before I really knew anything about the music, to almost two decades later in 2014 as an instructor and featured performer who is focused intently on the question of how to support and encourage the next generation of taiko players.

Another exciting development that was announced at WTG is the start of KaDON, an online resource for taiko and fue instruction presented by Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, one of the most respected taiko makers in Japan. I am honored to be one of the three instructors featured on KaDON and I hope it turns out to be beneficial for as many people as possible. Please visit Kadon.com for more details about this.

Last week, the aforementioned Chieko Kojima visited New York for a week for a performance with me at Shapeshifter. Lab in Brooklyn as well as a three day intensive at my studio. Ten participants from Boston, Philadelphia and NY areas stayed over night while Mari cooked delicious meals with a handful of volunteers, Cathy Tio, Cassandra Huebenthal, Yumiko Higaki and Alex Pfister who donated time and energy and food.

Coming up after this is a lot of traveling but continuing with classes in NY when I'm in town.

Hope to see you all soon and enjoy the summer until then!

Sincerely,

Kaoru

  UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

Friday, Aug 8 | 7:30pm - 9:00pm | $16 Sumie Kaneko @Regatta Bar (Boston) Sumie Kaneko's project J-Trad & More will present trio version with Kaoru Watanabe on Taiko and Fue, Yoshiki Yamada on Bass. New pieces will be played!. She is currently making new album with new instrumentation, you will see some of them. Must come! 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge MA, 02138. http://www.regattabarjazz.com http://www.sumiekanekomusic.com

Saturday, Aug 16 | 3:00pm Palo Alto Buddhist Temple presents: Hiroshima & Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble Kenny Endo (taiko), Kaoru Watanabe (taiko, fue), Hiroshi Tanaka (taiko), Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (drums, vibraphone, ukulele) More info TBA Schultz Cultural Arts Hall at the Jewish Community Center 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303 http://www.paloaltojcc.org/on-campus/albert-janet-schultz-cultural-arts-hall/

Saturday, Aug 23 Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko at Tenri Cultural Institute (New York) First duo concert with Kaoru Watanabe. Program will be mixture of Kaoru's original, traditional piece, Sumie's new compositions. More info TBA 43A West 13th Street, New York, 10011 http://www.tenri.org http://www.sumiekanekomusic.com

Friday, Sept 5 Fukushima Ongakudo http://www.f-shinkoukousha.or.jp/ongakudou/wp-content/uploads/282cb4d1d63ddf0177ffad86cd8f937a.pdf More info TBA

Thursday, Sept 11 Resonance 2014@Super Deluxe More info TBA

Summer Events and Projects

Jin Jin Chiu

May 30-June 13th: Collaboration with Taikoz in Sydney, Australia

Jin Jin Chiu

 

Greetings from Sydney,

I’m right in the middle of an intense two weeks in Australia working with the group TaikOz.  I’ve been really challenging them and myself with ambitious pieces and concepts and heavily relying on each member’s sense of composition, listening skills and improvisational prowess and the results have been great.  It’s been a pleasure working with them and getting to know them better.  Our concert is next Saturday and I can’t wait to see how far we’ve come by then!

In the meantime, I also have to continue planning for some very exciting upcoming projects.

-Kaoru

FutureDirectionsA3v3

June/July activities

Mari Nakano

Hello friends, This Sunday, June 19th starting at 6 pm, my new ensemble will be doing an open final run-through for a show we're doing in Minneapolis. This group features Damion Reid, Barbara Merjan and myself on taiko, percussion and fue and Tamango tap dancing. We are mixing up hogaku and festival drumming styles and mixing it up with jazz improvisation and dance in pretty crazy ways. Please come out and see what all the noise is all about!

Where Renate Albertsen-Marton Gallery - The Village@Gureje 886 Pacific Street Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Btw. Underhill Ave and Washington Aves in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn) To call for directions: 718-857-2522

June 23, 24, 25, 26 Minneapolis Mu Daiko presents: Kaoru Watanabe New Ensemble with Damion Reid, Barbara Merjan and Tamango http://www.muperformingarts.org/news/soul-drum

June 29th Washington DC Japan Information and Cultural Center Japan Embassy Solo Fue/Taiko performance

July 3rd New York Kaoru/Birthday/Taiko/Celebration!! TBA Gureje starting 4 pm

July 5th New York HIMIZUKAZE - Japan Fundraising Concert- see flier below Tenri Cultural Center 8:30 pm $10 with Mana Hashimoto (dance) Sadahiro Kakitani (ryuteki) and others

July 16, 20, 21, 23 Creative Walks Participants will be blindfolded and taken through a series of conscious heightening experiences, while being serenaded with taiko and fue in Prospect Park http://www.createculture.org/

May - Upcoming Performances

Mari Nakano

Hello friend and family,Spring is fighting its way through the lingering cold here in New York. In just a few days, it seems it will finally warm up for good. There are a lot of great performances coming up both on the East and West Coast (and Down Under too!). Take a look below.

stony-brook-sakura-matsuri

MAY 3, SATURDAY Charles B Wang Asian American Ctr @Stony Brook University, Long Island NY  14th Annual Ryu Shu Kan Cherry Blossom Festival Kaoru Watanabe, Ne-O Ensemble feat. Sumie Kaneko Join us while we welcome Spring to Long Island the Japanese way with the exciting sounds of the Taiko Drums, the elegance of Japanese dance and music and a wondrous array of Japanese cultural exhibits and events for the entire family. For information, please call Ryu Shu Kan: 631-698-2467 Charles. B. Wang Center: 631- 632-1944 https://www.facebook.com/events/788384034506213/

go-organic

MAY 12, MONDAY Shapeshifter Lab, 18 Whitwell St., Brooklyn NY Adam Rudolph's GO: Organic Orchestra 50 Musicians: woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion 8:00 PM performance 7:00 PM workshop (public welcome to observe) Music composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph https://www.facebook.com/pages/Go-Organic-Orchestra/49249259623 https://www.facebook.com/pages/ShapeShifter-Lab/209460929085823

STJ_FLUTES_POSTCARD_EMAIL copy

MAY 15, THURSDAY Saint Johns the Divine, Manhattan NY Flutes of Hope Concert Featuring Ralph Samuelson, Steve Gorn and Kaoru Watanabe http://www.stjohndivine.org/visit/calendar/events/music/11872/flutes-of-hope

Satsuki-2014

MAY 18, SUNDAY Berkeley Buddhist Temple, Berkeley, CA Satsuki Bazaar & Art Festival with Kenny Endo Ensemble and Abe Lagrimas, Jr. http://www.berkeleysangha.org/ev/bazaar/index.html

convergence-janm

MAY 23, FRIDAY Los Angeles, CA Convergence Duo w. Kenny Endo at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) http://www.janm.org/events/2014/05/#23

MAY 17-24, California - AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE LESSONS I will be in Northern (East Bay) and Southern California (Los Angeles) during this time. I am available for private lessons. Inquire at kaoru@watanabekaoru.com.

MAY 30 - JUNE 13, 2014 Sydney, Australia Collaboration w. Taikoz I will be acting as Artistic Director for a concert by the renowned taiko ensemble, Taikoz. I will send updates while I'm traveling - photos, journal and all. If you live or will be in Sydney during this time, I may be available for private lessons. Inquire at kaoru@watanabekaoru.com.

___________________________________________ ON THE HORIZON

JULY 18-20 Los Angeles, CA World Taiko Gathering

JULY 18-20 Los Angeles, CA World Taiko Gathering I will be teaching workshops and performing in the concert with two Kodo members, the great Chieko Kojima and Eiichi Saito.  This is an amazing place to learn from some great instructors and to meet fellow taiko enthusiasts from all over the world. http://worldtaikogathering.com

JULY 11-12 Montreal, Canada Longueuil's International Percussion Festival More information to come.

JULY 25-27 Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center, Brooklyn Hana-Hachijo Intensive Weekend Workshop with Chieko Kojima at KWTC KWTC is proud to welcome Chieko back for an intensive three day workshop.  Participants can expect to learn in-depth about the movements, techniques, the songs, as well as philosophy behind Chieko's signature piece Hana-hachijo as well as to spend time getting to know her and fellow taiko players.  Open to both male and female taiko players.  Please contact us for information and to reserve a spot (limited to 10 participants) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW_Foe0vXyQ

___________________________________________ OTHER EVENTS

MAY 2nd & 3rd, Fri/Sat Project IX – Pleiades $30/$24 Japan Society members
Although I won't be performing in this program nor will there be any taiko drumming in it, our friends at Japan Society are presenting a percussion-heavy multi-media performance that I encourage people to see!
Two Japanese tour de force artists, acclaimed musician Kuniko Kato, praised by Steve Reich as a “first rate percussionist,” and dancer Megumi Nakamura, internationally-known since her days with Jiří Kylián’s Netherlands Dance Theater, explore the mesmerizing scores of legendary 20th-century composer Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001). Project IX – Pleiades, which features one of Xenakis’ most complex and ambitious pieces, Pléiades, is a multimedia work delivered through live performance and a state-of-the-art sound/projection installation. Directed by Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti, one of the featured artists in the 2014 NY PHIL BIENNIAL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiR6-h9ah0Q

 

4/13: 参 Sun Trio at ShapeShifter Lab

Jin Jin Chiu

fb-header 参 SUN Trio Sunday, April 13th | 7pm | $10

Sun (参) Trio is comprised of Kaoru Watanabe and Tetsuro Naito, two former members of Kodo, the iconic taiko group from Japan, and Patrick Graham, an acclaimed, multifaceted Montreal-based percussionist. Featuring the taiko drums, Japanese bamboo flutes, and a host of percussion instruments from Japan, the Middle East and beyond, the music is an artful blend of power, delicacy and precision.

The character 参, or “san” (pronounced sə n) can refer to a surprising variety of things: "three", "to participate", "to pray", "to be taken" and even "to fall in love". The number 3 has profound significance in Japanese culture. With regards to taiko drums, drum heads are often adorned with the mitsudomoe a symbol with three tear drops chasing each other in a circle. The members of Sun Trio found this word represents the multifaceted nature of the music, at once sacred and profane, with a decidedly contemporary edge.

Tetsuro Naito- taiko drums Patrick Graham - taiko drums, percussion Kaoru Watanabe- Japanese flutes, taiko drums

ShapeShifter Lab 18 Whitwell Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215 R train to Union St http://www.shapeshifterlab.com/

RSVP on the Facebook event page here.