Taiko Legacy 14 image

Taiko Legacy 14 and Reduction 5

Tsukasa Taiko 21st year Journey

Tatsu Aoki’s Taiko Legacy and Reduction

The unmistakable sound of Taiko (Japanese drums), typically heard only at seasonal festivals and temples in Japan, is elevated to a new level on the MCA Stage again. The fourteenth-anniversary performance features two distinct programs.

Taiko Legacy 14

Sun, Dec 17 @ 2:00 pm

Celebrating over two decades of artist directed performance, Taiko Legacy is a perennial commemoration bringing together professional contemporary and classical performers alongside enduring community members to produce one of the largest Taiko drumming concerts in the Midwest. The multigenerational ensemble Tsukasa Taiko anchors the traditional musical relationship between shamisen, dance, and taiko. The melodic depths of the taiko ensemble performance are explored using original compositions and arrangements from a broad range of musical styles including ozashiki (geisha chamber music), minyo(folk music), ohayashi (classical/folk/theater music), and matsuri taiko (festival taiko music). This year’s featured guests include Melody Takata and the Gen Ensemble of San Francisco, classical music grandmasters from Japan, Chizuru Kineya, and Takane Umeya, with local classical dance grandmaster Yoshinojo Fujima.


Reduction 5

Sat, Dec 16 @ 7:30 pm

Directed by Tatsu Aoki, Reduction is a creative response to the popularity of mainstream taiko drumming, which is stripped of its musical and theatrical elements. This year, Reduction will feature a rare and special debut appearance of traditional Kuruma Ningyo puppetmaster : Koryu Nishikawa V. Performances will incorporate nihon buyo (Japanese classical dance) movements from grandmaster Shunojo Fujima, appearing in inventive combinations accompanied by jazz greats Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, Nicole Mitchell, Coco Elysses, JoVia Armstrong, Douglas Ewart, and classical music masters Chizuru Kineya, Takane Umeya…and many others.


Special Workshop: KURUMA NINGYO

Sun Dec 17 @ 6 pm | $25 registration

Nearly 150 years ago in the late Edo Period, Nishikawa Koryu I created Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo, a form of puppet theatre. It is called “Kuruma Ningyo” because the puppeteer sits on a small seat with roller wheels (rokuro kuruma) when operating the puppet (ningyo). This small seat allows the puppet and puppeteer to move in unison, providing greater flexibility and realism; distinguishing it from Bunraku, in which three people operate a single puppet.

Nishikawa Koryu became the 5th Headmaster (iemoto) of the Kuruma Ningyo troupe in 1996 and has been studying Kuruma Ningyo puppetry since he was 13 years old.

For more than fifteen years, Nishikawa Koryu V has been performing regularly throughout Japan and the world. Each year, he spends around 100 days on performance tours including the Czech Republic, Sweden, Saipan, Brazil, in far eastern Russia, and the United States.


Taiko Legacy / Reduction is a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest and the Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago and is supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, CDH. P.C, JCCC Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Joyce Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts

Taiko Legacy Hot Line: 312.610.2581