Taiko Heroes 3 - Featuring On Ensemble, Kaoru Watanabe, Yuta Sumiyoshi
A time to reflect on the year with current favorites and bring in the new year with new work, Taiko Heroes is returning on December 3rd, 2016 at Live Arts Los Angeles! This year, On Ensemble is featuring our good friend, Kaoru Watanabe from New York to present new material from his album Néo. He will be joined by Yuta Sumiyoshi, one of the young featured stars of the iconic Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble Kodo and Fumi Tanakadate, a multifaceted musician based in New York City.
Established in 2002, On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the taiko (Japanese drumming) world. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble is recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock to central asian overtone singing. Their fearless musical exploration has expanded the artistic range of the taiko and has taken these ancient instruments into new realms.
Kaoru Watanabe is one of the most innovative performers on Japanese shinobue flutes and taiko drums. He seamlessly combines traditional ritual and theater musics of Japan with the complex compositional and improvisational elements of jazz and other western musics.
Yuta Sumiyoshi entered the Kodo Apprentice Centre in 2010, and became a Kodo member in 2013. Despite being a newcomer, he was selected for important soloist positions from his very first tour, including the coveted role of O-daiko. Known by colleagues as Kodo's "sound maker," Sumiyoshi specializes in nimble drumstick work, and is always enhancing the musicality of performance pieces.