taiko

Group to present clinic, concert

TAIKOPROJECT, a Los Angeles-based group of taiko drummers, will present a taiko clinic and performance at Trine University on Saturday, May 6, as a prelude to the 11th annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival in Fort Wayne.

The group will conduct a free community clinic on taiko drums from 10-11:30 a.m. in the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts, then present a concert at 7 p.m. in Ryan Concert Hall. Admission to the concert is $5 with tickets available at the door; students will be admitted free.

Founded in 2000 by a group of young, emerging drummers, TAIKOPROJECT seeks to create a truly American style of taiko, a Japanese form of ensemble drumming. The team, made up of the best and brightest young taiko performers in the United States, blends traditional forms with an innovative, fresh approach to the Japanese drum.

TAIKOPROJECT became the first American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005. Its many television performances have included the 2009 Academy Awards, the 2011 11 Grammy Awards and NBC’s “The Voice.”

The group has performed and recorded with some of the world's most well-known musical artists, including Stevie Wonder, Usher, Alicia Keys, A.R. Rahman, John Legend and Kanye West. TAIKOPROJECT will tour across the nation multiple times this year and is currently appearing in commercials for Food Network's “Iron Chef Gauntlet.”

For more information on the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, contact Dorothy Kittaka at (260) 432-7780 or visit cherryblossomfw.com.