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Skidmore College

Taiko Project to showcase fresh interpretation of drumming

March 18, 2012
Taiko Project

Taiko Project in concert

The Skidmore College Department of Music will present the Taiko Project as part of the Filene Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, at the Arthur Zankel Music Center. 

The Taiko Project is an ensemble of premiere taiko drummers dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of taiko. Through public performances, education, and outreach activities, Taiko Project is committed to preserving taiko as a dynamic element of Japanese American culture and heritage. In addition to maintaining taiko as a community-based tradition, Taiko Project also incorporates unconventional and innovative concepts to expand artistic boundaries. Through these values, Taiko Project seeks not only to entertain audiences, but also to inform them about the history and integrity of taiko as an evolving art form.

Taiko Project was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, Calif., by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers. They were seeking to create an American style of taiko, blending traditional forms in which they were raised with an innovative and fresh aesthetic approach to the Japanese drum. In just 11 years they have garnered critical acclaim from all over the world and amassed an impressive resume.

As said in the International Examiner, " [Taiko Project] blew the roof off with their energy and willingness to take taiko into the 21st century by experimenting with various media and settings. They take American taiko outside the box.

Taiko Project first made waves after becoming the first American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005, beating out all the Japanese taiko groups in attendance. They followed that with performances in some of America's highest-profile events, including the 2009 Academy Awards and the 2011 Grammy Awards. Taiko Project has performed and recorded with some of the world's most well-known musical artists, including Stevie Wonder, Usher, rock band 30 Seconds to Mars, A.R. Rahman, John Legend, rapper Xzibit, and Kanye West.

Admission for the March 22, 7:30 p.m. Taiko Project performance is $7 general admission, $5 seniors, and $3 Skidmore students, faculty, and staff. For advance reservations visit www.skidmore.edu/zankel or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-8381 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired.

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