Mitsuwa New Year’s Mochitsuki

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Mitsuwa Marketplace’s annual New Year’s Day Mochitsuki (rice cake pounding) event is always accompanied by the thunderous sounds of our taiko. We play for 3 hours straight with our performer’s unit Gintenkai members and all our chibikko kids! Please join us on January 1st at Mitsuwa to kick off the year with Tsukasa, and experience live mochi-pounding.

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Testimonials

What I also love about Tsukasa Taiko is that Aoki Sensei teaches us something other than playing catchy, toe-tapping, beat-driven percussion on taiko. The way he teaches us to play taiko is really more of an art and cultural experience– we’re taught a story, and we learn to convey the nuances of the story through traditional Japanese music, choreography, and dance….

– Sandra (Arashi)

Today, I feel so fortunate to have “found” Tsukasa Taiko. It fulfills a great nostalgia I have for the traditional rhythms and joyful energy of taiko, and at the same time it is something challenging, playful, and immensely satisfying (especially when we complete a song or perform well)…

– Helen (Kazan)

I think my most memorable moment with Tsukasa was at the end of my first Taiko Legacy. I remember how exhilarating and cool it felt to have finally finished something that was so grand. This is when I heard the clapping of the crowd, and it made me fill up with joy and relief that just felt well, amazing!…

– Neill (Ginten 1)

Mitsuwa Bon Odori

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Mitsuwa Marketplace’s annual summer festival Bon Odori was one of the first public events Tsukasa Taiko made an appearance at. Hide Yoshihashi, the founder of Tsukasa Taiko and some of our original Tsukasa core members began performing at this festival alongside Wakayagi Shiyu Sensei‘s Japanese classical dance troupe that led the”bon odori” dance circle.

Today, Tsukasa serves as one of the staple acts at this summer fest, and take pride in our 45-member community ensemble that perform at this event. In the more recent years, National Gintenkai Project members have made an appearance at Mitsuwa’s Bon Odori, joined by performers from our sister taiko group GenRyu Arts from San Francisco.

Millennium Park Family Fun

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Millennium Park Family Fun Festival is located inside the tents at the Chase Promenade North on the corner of Michigan and Randolph Avenue. They have hosted Tsukasa Taiko for the last 10+ years during their popular summer schedules. We are proud to perform on the Family Fun stage, sometimes with up to 40 of our members, as this is one of the longest-running, monumental events to showcase our entire community ensemble. 

Millennium Park Family Fun series is presented by the Millennium Park Foundation (grant support provided by Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, managed by the Millennium Park Foundation), and has been promoted by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in the past.  

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

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Tsukasa Taiko has been a longtime staple act of the opening pre-show preceding the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade on State Street. One of our earliest call times has been 4:30am (!) but we don’t mind the cold or the earlybird hours because we’re truly honored to perform and enjoy sharing our art at a huge Chicago tradition. The Parade is also broadcasted coast to coast to over 73 million households across the nation through WGN America.

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Then They Came for Me at Alphawood Gallery Album Thumbnail

“THEN THEY CAME FOR ME”

at Alphawood Gallery

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Reduction 4

2017

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Garfield Park Conservatory

Lily likes to play with crayons and pencils

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Japan Festival Chicago

2017

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Chicago Jazz Festival 2013

2013

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Chicago Jazz Festival 2016

2016

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MSI Christmas Around the World

2017

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Community Ensemble

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Cultural and Educational Presentations

2016

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Global PungmulInstitute Collaboration

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Hyde Park 4th of July Parade

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JASC Holiday Delight

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Taiko Legacy Concert Series

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Community Ensemble

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Tsukasa Taiko performs over 60+ shows a year, and our community ensemble frequently make an appearance at many of our public performances. Our community ensemble consists of Gintenkai performance unit, the Cool Ladies & R, Asunaro/Kagayaki/Tsuki youth unit, and our youngest chibikko (kids) students. We perform all over the Chicagoland Area throughout the year, with some of our staple shows taking place at Millennium Park, University of Chicago International House, Japan Information Center, various Chicago park districts, outdoor summer festivals, museum campuses, etc.  

Chicago Jazz Festival 2013

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Hamid Drake with Michael Zerang, Eigen Aoki, and Tsukasa Taiko drummers directed by Tatsu Aoki

Drummer Hamid Drake doesn’t just make the most abstract music swing; he’s also a devoted student of rhythms from around the world. He and Michael Zerang draw on those traditions in their sunrise winter-solstice concerts, which have been easing Chicago’s passage from one year to the next since 1990, but for this performance they’ll narrow the focus to one: traditional Japanese drum music, performed with Eigen Aoki and his Tsukasa Taiko Gintenkai unit. Taiko is all about the balance between massive force and serene emptiness, elements that Zerang and Drake understand quite well. — Description borrowed from Bill Meyer of Chicago Reader

"THEN THEY CAME FOR ME" at Alphawood Gallery

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Tsukasa was the honorable opening act alongside the Miyumi Project for the prolific exhibition “Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties” at the Alphawood Gallery. Tsukasa Taiko also contributed to the soundtrack for the film “And Then They Came For Us” that was created for the exhibition. Live performance of the OST was revealed at the gallery in November 2017. 

If you’re interested in a copy of the album, email us and let us know.

Testimonials

Sandra: What I also love about Tsukasa Taiko is that Aoki Sensei teaches us something other than playing catchy, toe-tapping, beat-driven percussion on taiko. The way he teaches us to play taiko is really more of an art and cultural experience– we’re taught a story, and we learn to convey the nuances of the story through traditional Japanese music, choreography, and dance….

Sandra (Arashi)

Today, I feel so fortunate to have “found” Tsukasa Taiko. It fulfills a great nostalgia I have for the traditional rhythms and joyful energy of taiko, and at the same time it is something challenging, playful, and immensely satisfying (especially when we complete a song or perform well)…

Helen (Kazan)

I think my most memorable moment with Tsukasa was at the end of my first Taiko Legacy. I remember how exhilarating and cool it felt to have finally finished something that was so grand. This is when I heard the clapping of the crowd, and it made me fill up with joy and relief that just felt well, amazing!

Neill (Ginten 1)

I think innovative artistic collaborations like these really set Tsukasa apart and show how Tsukasa is committed to the Chicago community and to the legacy, advancement and exploration of the taiko artform….”

Randy (Kazan)

次の世代への引き継ぎに貢献して、シカゴだけでなく広い範囲で活躍できるグループ活動ができればと思います。子供が、楽しみながらできる”習い事”を通して、司や、太鼓のAwarenessを広げたいです…

Mother of Sheamus (Chibikko Tsuki)

親の心配もよそに堂々と演奏をする子供達にとても驚き感動しました。早くからこういう機会に恵まれていることは素晴らしいことだと思います。..

Mother of Taira (Chibikko Tsuki)

Large Japanese taiko

What is Taiko

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What is Taiko

Literally meaning “drum,” taiko is known for its thunderous sound and stunning, stylized choreography. With a 2,000 year-old history, taiko has its roots in Japanese court, theater, religious/ceremonial and festival music, where the taiko was just one instrument of many that comprised the ensembles that performed this music. In the mid-20th century, the kumi-daiko style evolved, which featured ensembles made up solely of drums. Since then, kumi-daiko has enjoyed tremendous popularity and in the US it has become a celebrated symbol of heritage and culture for the Japanese American community.

In addition to the taiko, Tsukasa Taiko at JASC is unique in that it presents not only the kumi-daiko style, but other forms of music that include other instruments, such as the shamisen (three-stringed lute) and the shinobue (transverse bamboo flute). The shamisen has a rich tradition in the folk and classical music of Japan as does the shinobue, which holds a prominent role in kabuki theater music as well as matsuri festival music. With these instruments, Tsukasa Taiko at JASC performs music that includes zashiki (chamber music), minyo (folk music) and ohayashi (classical/folk/theater music) styles, representing many Japanese musical traditions that are now rarely heard. Tsukasa Taiko at JASC is proud to have a role in the preservation, development and presentation of these cultural art forms.

Reduction 4

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Director Tatsu Aoki conceived Reduction as a creative response to the popular taiko drumming stripped of its musical elements. Recent generations have embraced ensemble taiko (kumi-daiko) performance characterized by spectacle, with drums played hard and fast and using multiple rhythmic and pattern-oriented movements. In contrast, Aoki chooses to explore more nuanced taiko used in other Japanese art forms. The essential difference is about musicality. Reduction argues for upholding the beauty in taiko performance, for its connectivity to aesthetics and musicality.

Reduction 4 features the North American debut of Sennosuke Wakatsuki, a young Kabuki artist from Tokyo who is revolutionizing the form. Additional standout artists, from grand master Shunojo Fujima performing nihonbuyo (Kimono dance) to contemporary dancer Ayako Kato, appear in inventive combinations accompanied by jazz greats Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, Nicole Mitchell, and Douglas R. Ewart, electronics composer Jonathan Chen, classical music masters Chizuru Kineya and Hyakkyo Fukuhara, and many others.

Who We Are

Taiko Legacy 7 Gintenkai Picture

Training and Workshop

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Training and Workshop

Tsukasa Taiko, one of the leading taiko (Japanese drumming) ensembles in the Midwestern United States, has as its mission to preserve and to protect, and most importantly, to pass on the traditional concepts of taiko as a cultural legacy through direct lineage. Tsukasa Taiko is a resident program at the Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago (JASC). It offers year-round instruction in taiko (Japanese drumming) and provides training and performance opportunities. Professional personnel provides instruction during weekly sessions for skill levels ranging from beginner/elementary children’s sessions all the way to professional performance unit rehearsal/training. While utilizing these concepts to expand and evolve the taiko form in collaborative efforts with prominent music artists, Tsukasa Taiko remains aesthetically the most traditional taiko group in the Midwest. The long-established art form from Japanese culture is artistically woven into the group’s contemporary performances for an enriched representation of taiko today. The ensembles are rooted in the community but are enhanced by professional artists lending their talent and expertise for dynamic performances.

Upcoming Beginner Workshop

If you are interested in Tsukasa Taiko and have general inquiries, specific questions and/or requests, please contact us at tsukasataiko@gmail.com.

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OPRF Japan Fest

Oak Park River Forest High School | 201 North Scoville Avenue, Oak Park, IL, United States
3月 2019
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Tsukasa Taiko Reduction 3 Image

Archive 2015

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Archive 2015

2014 JUL-DEC

Thursday, July 10
ROKA AKOR
456 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60654

Sunday, July 13
Japan Day
Japan Town in San Francisco
1610 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94115

Saturday, July 19 @5pm
Evanston Festival
Centennial Park
Sheridan Rd. at Clark St. 60201

Sunday, July 20 @7am
Rock N Roll Marathon 60616

Sunday, July 20 @3pm
Clark St. Festival
Clark St. btwn. Morse & Touhy
6950 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60626

Sunday, July 20 @6pm
China Town Summer Festival
Wentworth Ave. from Cermak Rd. to 24th Pl. Chicago 60616

Monday, July 21
Montessori Language Academy @9am
Forest Park, IL 60130
(private educational program)

Saturday, July 26 @10:45am
Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival
2201 N. Windsor Dr. Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Saturday, July 26 @1pm
Millennium Park Family Fun Festival
Family Fun Performance Stage
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Sunday, July 27 @5pm
ROKA AKOR
4999 Old Orchard Center
Skokie, IL 60077

Saturday, August 2 @2pm & 6pm
Mitsuwa Bon Odori
100 E. Algonquin Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Sunday, August 3 @1pm & 3pm
Destination Asia Festival
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

Thursday, August 7 @5pm
Oak Park Festival 60301

Saturday, August 9 @8pm
Yoko Noge’s Japonesque at Ginza Festival
Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W Menomonee, Chicago, IL 60614

Saturday, August 16 @12:30pm
Albany Park World Fest
60625

Tuesday, August 19 @ 5:30 pm
The Miyumi Project featuring Tsukasa Taiko
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Chicago)
220 East Chicago Avenue Chicago IL 60611

Cancelled
Thursday, August 21 @6pm
Argyle Night Market
Argyle between Sheridan Rd. and Kenmore

Sunday, August 24 @1pm
Millennium Park Family Fun Day
Family Fun Performance Stage
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Sunday, August 24 @4pm
United we drum “MUNTU”
The Logan Center
915 E. 60th St. 60601

Wednesday, September 3 @2pm
Omron Americas Headquarters
Hoffman Estate 60169

Tuesday, October 7
Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary School
Arlington Heights 60004
Educational program

Saturday, October 11 @4pm
Japanese Culture Center
1016 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60657

Sunday, October 19 @1pm
Fujima Recital
Northside College Prep High School
5501 N. Kedzie Ave. Chicago, IL 60625

Saturday, October 25 @2:30pm
Rotary Club World Headquarters in Evanston
Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201

Monday, November 3 @7pm
Miyumi Project
Music Mondays Series
Arts Incubator in Washington Park
The University of Chicago
301 E. Garfield Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60637

Friday, November 7 @1pm
Religious Education Association
Oak Brook 60523

Saturday, November 8 @1pm & 3pm
Holiday Delight
JASC : N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640

Thursday, November 27
McDonald’s Thanks Giving Parade
60602

Saturday, November 29 @12:45pm
Christmas Around the World
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60637

Saturday, December 6 @8pm [new venue] Miyumi Project
Hairpin Arts Center
2810 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
hairpinartscenter.org

Saturday, December 20 @7:30pm
Reduction 2
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Saturday, December 20 @3pm
and Sunday, December 21 @3pm
Taiko Legacy 11
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Tickets on Sale Now @ MCA web site
Reduction 2
www2.mcachicago.org/event/tsukasa-taiko-reduction
Taiko Legacy 11
www2.mcachicago.org/event/tsukasa-taiko-taiko-legacy-11

2015 JAN-

Thursday, January 1 2015
Mitsuwa Marketplace : New Year Festival
100 E. Algonquin Rd. Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Wednesday, January 14 2015 @10:30am
Logan Center School Matinee Program
The University of Chicago
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
Chicago, IL 60637
Private Educational Program

Friday, January 16 2015
Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
Chicago, IL 60607
Private Educational Program

Saturday, January 17 2015 @9:30pm
Miyumi Project
Constellation Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60618

Tuesday, January 20 2015
Everett Elementary School
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Educational Program

Wednesday, January 21 2015
Cherokee Elementary School
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Private Educational Program

Wednesday, January 21 2015
Sheridan Elementary School
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Private Educational Program

Wednesday, January 28 2015
Edison Middle School
Wheaton, IL 60189
Private Educational Program

Thursday, January 29 2015
Elmer H. Franzen Intermediate School
730 N. Catalpa Ave. Itasca, IL 60143
A performance of Japanese drumming for Culture Night 2015

Saturday, January 31 2015 @1pm & 3pm
Oak Park and River Forest School
201 North Scoville Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302

Saturday, January 31 2015 @8:30pm
TACCGC Chinese New Year Party
Hyatt Regency O’hare
9300 Bryn Mawr Ave. Rosemont, IL 60018

Friday, February 13 2015 @8:00pm
Chicago Composers Orchestra
Vittum Theater
1012 N. Noble St. Chicago, IL 60642

Friday, February 20 2015 @6pm
Bradley University
1501 W. Bradley Ave. Peoria, IL 61625

Saturday, February 28 2015
Futabakai Saturday School
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Private Event

Saturday, March 7 @12:00pm
Indiana Japan Chamber New Year Event
Mansion at Oak Hill
Carmel, IN 46033
Private Event

Wednesday, March 11 @12:00pm
Kizuna4 The Japan Earthquake Photo Exhibition
Richard J. Daley Center
50 W. Washington St. Chicago, IL 60602

Sunday, March 29 @3pm
Toyoaki Shamisen and Fujima Ryu of Chicago
Master Apprentice Program Recital
Hair Pin Arts Center
2810 N. Milwaukee Ave. 2nd Floor Chicago, IL 60618

Saturday, April 11 @7pm
Loyola University BUNKA-SAI
1001 W. Loyola Ave. Northeast corner of the Lake Shore Campus,
Chicago, IL 60626

Sunday, April 19 @6pm
National Jazz Journalist Association award ceremony
Erastic Arts
3429 W Diversey Ave. #208 Chicago, IL 60647
FREE / General Admission – Register here

Wednesday, April 22
Montessori Language Academy
Forest Park, IL 60130
Private Educational Program

Thursday, April 23 @7:30pm
Metropolis Performing Arts Center
111 W. Campbell St. Arlington Heights, IL 60005
*Ticket now on sale : metropolisarts.com

Friday, April 24 @6:30pm
Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Project
Celebrating 20 years of the Asian American Jazz Experience in Chicago
Hilton Orrington Hotel : 2nd floor Heritage Ballroom
1710 Orrington Ave. Evanston, IL 602012

*Join us for this FREE concert, in conjunction with the Association for Asian American Studies conference, to celebrate one of Chicago’s premier musicians and 20th year of Chicago’s Asian American Jazz Festival.

Saturday, April 25 @10:30am
HAIKU Festival
Harold Washington Library
400 South State Street Chicago, IL 60605

Wednesday, April 29 @4:30pm
Purdue University
610 Purdue Mall West Lafayette, IL 47407

Saturday, May 2 @2:30pm
Levy Senior Center
Evanston, IL 60202
Private Event

Wednesday, May 6 @6:40pm
Asian American Studies Strikes Back
Northwestern University : Hardin Hall
633 Clark St., Chicago, IL 60208

Thursday, May 7 @5:10pm
National Association of Asian American Professionals
Chicago, IL 60606
Private event

Saturday, May 9 @7:30pm
University of Chicago Japan Matsuri
Hutcinson Courtyard 5801 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637

Sunday, May 10 @5pm
Northwestern University BUNKA-SAI
Parkes Hall, 1870 Sheridan Rd., Evenston, IL 60208

Monday, May 18 @1:30pm
William H. Ray Elementary School
Chicago, IL 60637
Private Educational Program

Wednesday, May 20 @4pm
BMO Harris Bank
Chicago, IL 60603
Private event

Friday, May 22 @11:30am & 3:30pm
Cintas Corporation
Chicago, IL 60638
Private Event

Saturday, May 23 @8:30pm
Miyumi Project
Constellation Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60618

Wednesday, May 27 @8:45am
Andrew Jackson Language Academy
Chicago, IL 60607
Private Educational Program

Wednesday, May 27 @12:15pm
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St. Chicago, IL 60605

Friday, May 29 @5:30pm
The University of Chicago
International House
1414 E. 59th St. Chicago, IL 60637

Saturday, May 30 @1:30pm
Pivot Arts Festival
Loyola University St. Ignatius Plaza
1050 W. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL 60660

Sunday, May 31 @7pm
Kellogg Japan night
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
2169 Campus Dr., Evanston, IL 60208

Monday, June 1 @7pm
Black Ensemble Theater
4450 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640

Thursday, June 4 @6pm
Living Our Culture
Tatsu Aoki and friends
Floating World Gallery
1925 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614
http://www.jasc-chicago.org/living-our-culture-2015/

Friday, June 12 @12pm
Sky Landing Groundbreaking Ceremony
Jackson Park 60649
Monday, June 15 @12pm
Make Music Chicago PR
2 N. Riverside Plaza Chicago, IL 60606

Friday, June 19 @9am
McDowell Elementary School
Chicago, IL 60619
Private Educational Program

Sunday, June 21 @2:30pm
Make Music Chicago
http://makemusicchicago.org/
North Park Village Nature Center
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. Chicago, IL 60646

Sunday, June 28
Japan Day
Japan Town in San Francisco
1610 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94115

Saturday, July 4 @11am
The 24th Annual 4th on 53rd Parade of Hyde Park
Chicago, IL 60637

Tuesday, July 7 @7pm
Polish Triangle Coalition
Milwaukee/Division/Ashland Avenues at the Blue Line stop
Chicago, IL 60642

Friday, July 17
Chicago History Museum
Chicago, IL 60614
Private Event

Saturday, July 18 @1pm
Millennium Park Family Fun Festival
Family Fun Performance Stage
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Saturday, July 18 @4pm
Japan Night at Arlington International
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60006

Sunday, July 19 @7am
Rock’n’ Roll Marathon
24th Place and Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60616

Sunday, July 19 @3pm
36th Annual Chinatown Summer Fair
Cermak & Wentworth, Chicago, IL 60616

Saturday, July 25 @10am
Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Arlington
2201 N. Windsor Dr. Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Thursday, July 30 @3:45pm
Jazz Academy Camp by Chicago Philharmonic
Chicago State University
Chicago, IL 60628
Private Event

Saturday, August 1
Mitsuwa Bon Odori
100 E. Algonquin Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Saturday, August 1 @11am & 2:15pm
Sunday, August 2 @11am & 2:15pm
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

Sunday, August 2 @10am
Miyumi Project
The Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

Wednesday, August 5 @6:30pm
Night Out in the Parks featuring Fujima Ryu of Chicago
Midway Plaisance Park
1130 Midway Plaisance North, Chicago, IL 60637

Thursday, August 6 @5pm
Downtown Oak Park’s Thursday Night Out
North Marion St. / Westgate St., Oak Park, IL 60301

Saturday, August 8 @6:30pm
Night Out in the Parks featuring Fujima Ryu of Chicago
Ping Tom Park
1700 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago, IL 60616

Saturday, August 8 @8pm
Yoko Noge’s Japonesque at Ginza Festival
Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W. Menomonee St., Chicago, IL 60614

Sunday, August 9 @4:30pm
Ginza Holiday with Fujima Ryu of Chicago
Midwest Buddhist Temple
435 W. Menomonee St., Chicago, IL 60614

Tuesday, August 11 @6:30pm
Night Out in the Parks featuring Fujima Ryu of Chicago
Haas Park
2402 N. Washtenaw Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

Friday, August 14
Project UI-ssi-gu 2015
Wrigley Square
Downtown Chicago Millennium Park
Chicago, IL 60601

Sunday, August 16 @1pm
Millennium Park Family Fun Festival
Family Fun Performance Stage
Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North
201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601

Tuesday, August 25 @5:30pm
Miyumi Project at MCA Tuesdays on the Terrace
*Miyumi Project : Taiko & Contemporary Jazz
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
http://www2.mcachicago.org/event/tuesdays-on-the-terrace-tatsu-aoki-miyumi-project-2/

Saturday, September 12 @3pm
JCC Open House
1016 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657

Monday, September 21 @5:30pm
Fujima Ryu of Chicago Fundraiser Event
Miyumi Project *Taiko & Contemporary Jazz
Floating World Gallery
1925 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614

Saturday, September 26 @1pm
Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Miyumi Project *Taiko & Contemporary Jazz
Smart Museum of Art ‐ the University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
http://www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org/tatsu-aoki

Friday, October 9 @5:30pm
Asian American Jazz Festival
Miyumi Project *Taiko & Contemporary Jazz
Gray Center – the University of Chicago
929 E. 60th St., Ste 112, Chicago, IL 60637

Thursday,October 15
New Runway ceremony
O’Hare Airport
Chicago, IL 60666

Saturday, October 17 @12pm
McKinley Park Public Library
1915 W. 35th St. Chicago, IL 60609

Sunday, October 18 @1pm
Fujima Recital
Northside College Prep HighSchool
5501 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

Friday, October 23 @8:30pm
Miyumi Project *Taiko & Contemporary Jazz
Constellation Ticket: $10
3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

Friday, October 23
Saturday, October 24
Sunday, October 25
UNIQLO Opening ceremony
830 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

Tuesday, November 10 @5:30pm
Miyumi Project : Taiko & contemporary Jazz
Constellation
3111 N. Western Ave. Chicago, IL 60618

Thursday, November 12 @11am
NIU : Northern Illinois University
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, IL 60115

Saturday, November 14 @11:30am & 3pm
Holiday Delight
JASC: Japanese American Service Committee
4427 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640

Tuesday, November 24
OPRF
Oak Park, IL 60302
Private Educational program

Thursday, November 26
Thanksgiving Parade on TV
Chicago, IL 60602

Friday, November 27 @3:15pm
Christmas Around the World
the Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60637

Thursday, December 10
Ovation Chicago
Chicago, IL 60612
Private Event

Friday, December 11
Barrington High School
Barrington IL 60010
Private Event

Saturday, December 12
Amada
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Private Event

Saturday, December 19 @3pm
Taiko Legacy 12
MCA: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
http://www2.mcachicago.org/event/tsukasa-taiko-taiko-legacy-12/

Saturday, December 19 @7:30pm
Reduction
MCA: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
http://www2.mcachicago.org/event/tsukasa-taiko-reduction-2/

Sunday, December 20 @3pm
Taiko Legacy 12
MCA: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611
http://www2.mcachicago.org/event/tsukasa-taiko-taiko-legacy-12/

Wednesday, December 23 @8pm
Winter Solstice
Constellation
3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

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Donate and Support Tsukasa Taiko

Support from our community is vital for us to be able to continue our educational efforts and to produce high-quality arts presentations, raising the awareness of the Asian American experience on an international level. Your contributions are very meaningful and help us to continue our work!

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Asian Improv aRts Midwest(AIRMW). Contributions can be made on-line on this website or checks can be mailed to:

AIRMW/Tsukasa Taiko at JASC,
4427 N Clark St, Chicago IL 60640

Checks should be made payable to AIRMW, a 501(c)3 organization.
For AIRMW, please visit www.airmw.org for more information.

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Thank you for your generous support!

A program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest (AIRMW), Tsukasa Taiko strives to be a leader in the taiko community by advancing the traditional cultural arts as well as establishing taiko’s presence in new and contemporary performance settings. Noted for its commitment to preserving traditional forms, Tsukasa Tiako is also recognized for its collaborations with leading jazz, blues, and new music artists.

Our Supporters

Our Supporters

Photos and Videos

Reduction 4 album thumbnail

“Reduction 4”

Taiko Legacy 13 Special Presentation

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Then They Came for Me at Alphawood Gallery Album Thumbnail

“THEN THEY CAME FOR ME”

at Alphawood Gallery

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Garfield Park Conservatory

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Japan Festival Chicago album thumbnail

Japan Festival Chicago

2015-2017

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Chicago Jazz Festival 2013 album thumbnail

Chicago Jazz Festival 2013

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Chicago Jazz Festival 2016 album thumbnail

Chicago Jazz Festival 2016

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MSI Christmas Around the World album thumbnail

MSI Christmas Around the World

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Cultural and Educational Presentations album thumbnail

Community Ensemble

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Cultural and Educational Presentations album thumbnail

Cultural and Educational Presentations

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Global Pungmul Institute Collaboration album thumbnail

Global Pungmul Institute Collaboration

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Hyde Park 4th of July Parade album thumbnail

Hyde Park 4th of July Parade

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Holiday Delight album thumbnail

JASC Holiday Delight

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McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade thumbnail

McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

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Millennium Park Family Fun thumbnail

Millennium Park Family Fun Festival

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Mitsuwa Bon Odori thumbnail

Mitsuwa Bon Odori

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Our Collaborators

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Our Collaborators

Mwata Bowden

Multi-Instrumentalist

Multi-instrumentalist Mwata Bowden was born in Memphis but has his roots in Chicago's jazz history. After training under legendary band director Walter Dyett at DuSable high school, touring with the rhythm and blues band the Chi-lites and developing a reputation as a riveting multi-instrumentalist Bowden established a jazz scene at the University of Chicago where he is currently the Director of Jazz Ensembles. As a second generation member and former Chair of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), he helped evolve the concept of collective improvisation through its signature band, the Great Black Music Ensemble. His 20-year partnership with Tatsu Aoki's Miyumi Project, helped create an amalgam of American jazz with Japanese Taiko, and as a member of Edward Wilkerson's Eight Bold Souls, Bowden has performed at jazz and blues festivals throughout Chicago and around the world. He is a long time educator who understands how learning and applying the skills of improvisation can provide life-long benefits for youth; from Chicago Public School elementary and high school students to the AACM School to the many Jazz X-Tet students and alumni at the University of Chicago as well as workshops he has presented to students worldwide. In 2013 he received the Jazz Journalists Association's Jazz Hero award for his advocacy for and cultivation of a strong and vibrant jazz community in Chicago and in the world.

Grand Master Fujima Shunojo

Shubukai Founder and Artistic Director

FUJIMA SHUNOJO received his natori (professional performance name) - a major milestone for a practitioner of the Japanese cultural arts - at an early age. He opened his own school of classical dance and taught for several years in Tokyo before coming to the United States, first on tour with a classical dance troupe, and later permanently. For the past thirty-seven years, Fujima sensei has directed his own dance group in Chicago. In 2013 he received the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation Award for his ongoing work in the US promoting Japanese culture through teaching and performing Japanese classical dance. In addition to the annual recitals, Fujima and his dancers perform for various civic and cultural groups, colleges, universities and various festivals in and around Chicago and the Midwest.

Grand Master Fujima Yoshinojo (Rika Lin)

Interdisciplinary Performing Artist

Chicago native Rika Lin has studied Japanese classical dance for the last twenty-four years. In 2006, as a member of the Fujima Ryu of Chicago dance troupe, she received her natori. She continues to train with Shunojo Fujima Sensei, Founder and Director of Fujima Ryu of Chicago, to attain her shihan (teaching license), and develops her artistry working with Asian Improv aRts Midwest and Toyoaki Shamisen. She has performed in collaborations with Tatsu Aoki, Tsukasa Taiko, Bellisima Productions, and Yoko Noge's Japanesque.

Melody Takata

Founder and Director of GenRyu Arts

Melody Takata has been performing in the traditional arts for over 25 years, from her upbringing in the Japanese American community of Los Angeles. She is founder and director of GenRyu Arts, established in 1995 as Gen Taiko and incorporated in 2008. She completed the ACTA master apprentice program for shamisen with Hideko Nakajima Sensei in 2003, and, in celebration of Gen Taiko's 10th anniversary, the ACTA master apprentice program with 90 year-old Madame Fujima Kansuma. Takata has been one of the most significant collaborators for Tsukasa Taiko's national expansion program.

Michael Zerang

Professional Musician, Composer, and Producer

Michael Zerang is a first-generation American of Assyrian descent and was born in Chicago. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms. Zerang has collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater - in 1996, 1998, and 2000 - in collaboration with Redmoon Theater. As a percussionist and composer, he has more than eighty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to thirty-three countries since 1981. Zerang is a percussionist with the creative music group The Trio Waz with Tatsu Aoki and Edward Wilkerson Jr. He tours and holds workshops and teaches private lessons in improvisational music, rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.

Chizuru Kineya

Nagauta Shamisen Artist

Chizuru Kineya started studies at the age of six and is a nagauta shamisen artist, a master of the instrument accredited by the legendary Kineya Shamisen family. She performs with numerous contemporary classical musicians in regular engagements at the National Theater of Japan and in the mainstream Japanese music and performing arts scene, and teaches workshops at regional schools. Her US debut with the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival in 2011 marked her first collaboration with Chicago blues musicians. Kineya has regularly collaborated with Tatsu Aoki and GenRyu Arts in San Francisco since her first Taiko Legacy engagement in 2005. Her 2012 Tokyo Shamisen CD project, Toyoakimoto, features Aoki.

Hamid Drake

Chicago-based Jazz Drummer and Percussionist

Hamid Drake is a Chicago-based jazz drummer and percussionist who frequently tours internationally. His earliest collaboration was with legendary Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. In 1977, he cofounded the Mandingo Griot Society with Foday Musa Suso, the celebrated kora player from Gambia, and composer-percussionist Adam Rudolph. Other regular collaborators include bassist William Parker, saxophonist David Murray, free-jazz saxophonists Peter Brotzmann and Ken Vandermark, and fellow drummer Michael Zerang. More recently, Drake has performed with Archie Shepp in various configurations, the group Phat Jam, and human beat boxer and rapper Napoleon Maddox as part of the jazz/hip-hop group ISWAHAT. He performs frequently with several Hungarian jazz groups, recording with Viktor Toth and Mihaly Dresch.Dake and Tatsu Aoki worked together in Fred Anderson Trio/Quartet from 1998 through 2009.
Dohee Lee

Dohee Lee

Performing Artist

Dohee Lee is a native of South Korea's Jeju Island. She studied Korean dance, music, percussion, and vocals at the master level. Since relocating to the US, she has contributed to traditional and contemporary art forms in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she resides, as well as internationally. In 2008, she received the Isadora Duncan Special Award honoring Outstanding Achievement for her multimedia work Flux. She is a 2013 Creative Capital Grantee for her project MAGO. She has been awarded residencies by Montalvo Art Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi Art Center, Watermill Art Center, and Paul Dresher's Artist Residency Center. She has collaborated with a range of dance, performance, and music artists such as Anna Halprin, the Kronos Quartet, Tatsu Aoki, Francis Wong, Larry Ochs, Shinichi Iova-Koga's inkBoat, Amara Tabor-Smith, Sherwood Chen, Yannis Adoniou's Kunst-Stoff, and the Degenerate Art Ensemble.
FUKUHARA HYAKKYO (flute) and FUKUHARA TSURUKA (taiko)

Fukuhara Hyakkyo (flute)
& Fukuhara Tsuruka (taiko)

Both artists are certified performers from the traditional Fukuhara clan performing actively in the Kabuki - Nagauta tradition as well as other collaborative works. Outside of Kabuki Theaters' house musicians, there are only a handful of certified classical players in Japan today. These players are in high demand for supporting roles in classical shamisen music, Kabuki music, and other festive music. Hyakkyo and Tsuruka are working in the classical tradition.

Kizan Kawamura

Kizan Kawamura is a one of the rising young grandmaster in contemporary Japanese classical music. Born into a traditional Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) family, he started his formal practice in early age under acclaimed grand master Taizan Kawamura. He was a winner of the Kumamoto Japanese classical music competition and was awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2009. From contemporary new music to the traditional, Kizan collaborates with many different artists internationally

Eigen Aoki

Tsukasa Taiko Gintenkai Lead Performer

Eigen Aoki’s Taiko career started at age 4 on the stage of JASC’s annual Holiday Delight. While he started as a solo act, with help from his father and sister, he grew to perform in Tsukasa Taiko. Recently, Tsukasa Taiko developed a performing team Gintenkai, which Eigen has become a lead performer of. Eigen has since performed with Tsukasa Taiko, Gintenkai, and a host of renowned artists such as Mwata Bowden, Nicole Mitchell, Dohee Lee, Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang and more. Throughout his career, he has played at major venues in Chicago as well such as the Chicago Jazz Festival and Taste of Chicago and at many locations such as the DuSable Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Yoko Reikano Kimura

Koto, Shamisen Japanese classical musician

Yoko Reikano Kimura performs classical Japanese music in the Yamada School style as well as more contemporary music on the koto and shamisen. She has lived in the US since 2010 and has given numerous recitals in New York as well as Chicago. A graduate of the Tokyo University of the Arts and Music, she continued her studies at the NHK School for Young Professionals and at the Institute of Contemporary Music for Japanese Instruments. The Agency of Cultural Affairs elected her as an internship trainee. Her teachers include Kono Kameyama, Akiko Nishigata, and Senko Yamabiko who is a living national treasure for Kato-bushi shamisen. Kimura has won numerous awards including top prize at the prestigious 10th Kenjun Memorial All-Japan Competition and first prize at the Great Wall International Music Competition. She has received the Osaka Chinese Counsel Award and has performed many classical Yamada pieces for NHK-FM radio.

An enthusiastic supporter of contemporary music, Kimura has premiered new works at the Japan Society for Contemporary Music. She performs with her husband Hikaru Tamaki, the principal cellist of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2011 the duo was awarded the Janet Latz Professional Fellowship. Since 2004, she has performed around the world in places such as Poland, Switzerland, France, Lithuania, Korea, China, Israel, Qatar, and Italy. She has visited Jamaica, Bolivia, and Peru for the Japanese Arts in Latin America program promoted by the Japan Foundation New York. Currently, she holds a teaching position at the Institute of Contemporary Music for Traditional Japanese Instruments, an affiliate of Senzoku Gakuen Music University in Japan. For more information about the artist please visit www.reikano.yamadaryu.com

Coco Elysses

Screenwriter and poet

Coco Elysses hails from Robbins, Illinois. She is a member of the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians and works in theater, for voice-overs and film, and is a screenwriter and poet. She recently completed her MFA in Creative writing from National University. She originated the voice score for the Adler Planetarium permanent installation Skywatchers of Africa. Her voice can also be heard on spots for BET, BlackVoices.com, McDonald's, Nike, IN and OUT Burger, Saints Row video game and EverQuest II. Her acting credits include Organic Theatre's The Old Settler, for which she received a Black Theatre Alliance Award nomination for Best Featured actress in a drama. She performed in the Chicago Theatre Company, Black Theatre Alliance Award-winning, and Jeff Nominated production of Shakin the Mess Outta Misery.

Douglas R. Ewart

Composer, multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder and visual artist

Douglas R. Ewart (http://aacmchicago.org/douglas-ewart-0) was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and as a child experimented with material, texture, and sound of objects around him. Ewart emigrated to the United States in 1993 and entered the School of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1967 as a student of Shaku Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell. In 1983 he founded his own recording label, Arawak Records and has since released two of his own albums, Red Hills and Bamboo Forest. His constantly evolving suite, Music from the Bamboo Forest , comprises six movements and use numerous instruments, many of them hand-made, such as bass and alto flutes, shakuhachi, panpipe, and nay flutes, blocks, bells, gongs, and bamboon.

Ewart has served as the Chair of the AACM multiple times between 1986 and 2009, and he regularly travels as lecturer, teacher, and workshop leader throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has been received at the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans, LA), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, IL), the DuSable Museum of African-American Art (Chicago, IL), Urban Gateways (Chicago, IL ), the Creative Music Studio (Woodstock, NY), the Museum of Contemporary Craft (New York, NY), the Langston Hughes Center (New York, NY), the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL), Norfolk State University, the Riverside Museum (Baton Rouge, LA), the Washington Performing Arts Center, and the National Museum of American History (Washington, DC). He has led many ensembles including Douglas Ewart and Inventions, Clarinet Choir, Nyhabingi Drum Choir, Quadrasect, and Elements. Ewart has performed with a number of musicians including Muhal Richard Abrams, Fred Anderson, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Robert Dick, Ameen Muhammad, Von Freeman, George Lewis, Leo Smith, Cecil Taylor, Alvin Curran, Kahil El Zabar, Joseph Jarman, Kalaparush, Roscoe Mitchell, and Mwata Bowden.

Dee Alexander

Vocalist/songwriter

Born on Chicago’s west side, Dee Alexander is one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected female vocalist/songwriters. Her talents span every music genre, from Gospel to R&B, from Blues to Neo-Soul. Growing up in a household that was steeped in recordings of Dinah Washington, Ms. Alexander gravitated toward jazz from an early age. Other influences include Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and a little-known, much respected Chicago saxophonist, Light Henry Huff, with whom she worked in the late 80s. Huff encouraged her to take chances with making her own sounds, and the result is that her skills as an improviser are without boundary. A veteran on the Chicago scene since the 80s, Alexander’s associations with Chicago’s jazz elite include Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, pianist Ken Chaney, Ernest Dawkins Chicago 12, Nicole M. Mitchell and Douglas Ewart’s Inventions. Her affiliation with the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) has also proved invaluable in her musical journey. Her 2007 Sirens of Song tribute to Nina Simone and Dinah Washington in Chicago’s Millennium Park introduced her to a larger audience and marked the beginning of world recognition for her artistry as well, touring extensively in France, Italy, Germany and Poland. She leads her own Dee Alexander Quartet, and the Evolution Ensemble whose music ranges from original compositions to renditions of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. She has garnered accolades in African, Australian, European and North American press and was the recipient of the Chicagoan of the Year in Jazz award in 2008, and her CD Wild is the Wind was named the album of the summer in France in 2009 and earned her top votes in Downbeat’s readers and Critics polls; received 5 stars in Downbeat and was chosen as one of its top ten recordings on the first decade of the new Millennium. She was the recipient of the 3Arts Award for Music in 2012. Her performance at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival was selected by the NY Times as one of the best concerts with staying power. Dee’s current project, “Songs My Mother Loves” has received rave reviews and is intended not only to express thanks and pay tribute to Dee's mother for her inspiration and influence, but also to pay homage to the music that has become such a significant part of her life.

Yasushi Shimazaki

Chindonya : Traditional Japanese street performer

Yasushi Shimazaki is a native of Tokyo and an active figure in preserving and contemporizing the traditional Japanese street performance form chindonya. Characterized by their marching-band instrumentation and colorful costumes, chindonya performers are commonly engaged to advertise businesses. Chindonya originated in nineteenth-century Osaka and Tokyo, and flourished until the 1960s. In 1993, Shimazaki established a theatrical troupe, U-Stage, to revitalize the tradition as part of his experimental theater investigations. U-Stage has toured their chindonya work, Seven Lucky Gods, throughout Japan, Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, the US, and Australia.

Ayako Kato

Dancer/choreographer

Ayako Kato is a dancer and choreographer from Yokohama, Japan. She trained in classical ballet in Japan, butoh with master Kazuo Ohno, as well as tai chi, Noh theater dance, and modern dance upon moving to the US. In 1998, Kato established Art Union Humanscape (AUH) with double bassist Jason Roebke. Their extensive performance history throughout the US, Japan, and Europe includes more than 100 music and dance duets as well as extended collaborations with other musicians and dancers and, most recently, a dance installation project. Kato has been honored with a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist Award and funding from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and the City of Chicago. Since 2010, Kato has been an artist in residence at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater as part of Chicago Moving Company's Dance Shelter Program. That same year, she formed an expanded version of Art Union Humanscape, called AUH++, which performed in the Chicago Jazz Festival's opening ceremony.

Tsukasa Taiko Members

Our Board of Directors

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Our Board of Directors

President of the Board

Mr. Francis Wong Asian Improv aRts Nation Creative Director

Board Vice-President

Ms. Lauren Deutsch The Jazz Institute of Chicago Director of Artistic Collaborations

Board Secretary

Ms. Yukiko Aoki Co Owner, Aoya Inc.

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

Juri Sekiguchi Allstate

Head of Advisory Committee

Mr. Bradley A. Yee GenRyu Arts

Board Treasurer

Ms. Joyce AshizawaYee GenRyu Arts Administrator

Advisory Board of Traditional Practices

Joanne Kiyoko Tohei Tsukasa Taiko Director of Outreach
Helen M. Nagata, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Art History Northern Illinois University
Steven G Ducklow RRT-NPS   Neonatal Intensive Care Respiratory Care Dept. 

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

 Lisa Sloan    

Discography

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Discography

Traditional

Tsukasa Taiko

Gintenkai Unit

2013

Buy on Amazon

Featuring

Tsukasa Taiko - Gintenkai Unit Performers
  • Eigen Aoki
  • Kioto Aoki
  • Miyumi Aoki
  • Justin Mark
  • Kiyomi Negi
  • Kenji Negi
  • Koji Negi
  • Jun Takanarita
  • Noriko Sugiyama
  • Mark Aburano Meister
  • Neil Ducklow
  • Koki James
  • Morgan Mican
  • Kenji Mulhall
  • Daiyu Yoshinami
  • Colin Wong
  • Tatsu Aoki
  • Narimono - Miyumi Aoki
  • Shamisen - Yoshinojo Fujima

Hide Yoshihashi & Tsukasa Taiko

Hide Yoshihashi & JASC Tsukasa Taiko

2006

Buy on Amazon

Gintenkai

Amy Homma & Tsukasa Taiko

2011

Buy on Amazon
Tsukasa Taiko (2013)
Hide Yoshihashi & Tsukasa Taiko (2006)
Gintenkai (2011)

Contemporary

re: ROOTED

The Miyumi Project Big Band

2006

Buy on Amazon

Rooted: Origins Of Now

The Miyumi Project Big Band

2002

Buy on Amazon

The Miyumi Project

Tatsu Aoki

2000

Buy on Amazon

Raw and Alive

the MIYUMI Project

2016

Buy on Amazon

Live In Poland

The Miyumi Project Big Band

2008

Buy on Amazon

保護中: Training Session

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Workshop

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Taiko Winter Camp

Sign up for a special week-long taiko camp!
Currently open for registration:
  • Date: Monday, December 17 ~ Friday, December 21
  • Time:  3:30 – 5:00 PM
  • Fee: $120 for JASC Members | $150 for non-JASC Members
  • Location: Japanese American Service Committee
  • Please dress as if you are participating in an exercise class, in comfortable clothing. Gym shoes would be most appropriate. Bring your own water to drink. We will provide other equipment.
  • Minimum 3+ participants. Please note that if there are less than three participants registered, camp will be subject to cancellation.  
  • If you have any questions regarding any upcoming workshops, please contact:
    tsukasataiko@gmail.com
Tatsu Aoki teaching Japanese drumming to children

Educational Program

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Educational Program

The mission of Tsukasa Taiko at JASC is to preserve and pass on the traditional concepts of taiko as a cultural legacy and to utilize these concepts in expanding and evolving the taiko form.  One of the ways is through educational programming. Tsukasa Taiko has been providing cultural education presentations in the Chicago area public and private schools and universities for over ten years.  These programs are designed not only to teach people about taiko, but also to advance their understanding and appreciation of the cultural arts; Japanese classical dance, Japanese chamber music (ozashiki), and theatrical taiko.  The cultural education programs are presented by a staff of professional artists, and present performances on taiko, shamisen (three-stringed lute), and shinobue (Japanese flute). All performances and lectures can be bilingual and can be customized to the students’ grade levels, from pre-school through university.

For further information about this unique opportunity to present taiko culture as a meaningful educational experience, please contact  joanne@airmw.org

Taiko Legacy 15 and Reduction 6

Taiko Legacy 15 and Reduction 6

Tsukasa Taiko 22nd year Journey

Tatsu Aoki’s Taiko Legacy and Reduction

In its most common incarnation Taiko (Japanese drum), is typically heard at seasonal festivals and temples all throughout Japan. The more esoteric and theatrical expression of Taiko is a less frequent and more difficult endeavor, but at the core of Tsukasa Taiko’s artistic and musical vernacular.

At present, the fifteenth-anniversary performance, features two distinct stops on the MCA Stage, continuing along our 22-year journey.

Taiko Legacy 15

Sunday, December 9 | 2:00 pm

Taiko Legacy is one of the largest Taiko drumming concerts in the Midwest. This perennial presentation reunites professional contemporary and classical performers alongside enduring community members to celebrate over two decades of artist directed performance. The multigenerational ensemble Tsukasa Taiko anchors the traditional musical relationship between shamisen, dance, and taiko. The often overlooked melodic capacity of the taiko is unattainable without a thorough awareness of the origins and craft of the traditional Japanese music. This ensemble performance explores the concept using original compositions and arrangements rooted in 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 Ryu Arts of San Francisco, classical music grandmasters from Japan, Chizuru Kineya, and chindonya (traditional troubadour) Yasushi Shimazaki.


Reduction 6 – KANREKI Special

Saturday, December 8 | 7:30 pm

Reduction is a refined response to the popularity of mainstream taiko drumming, a trend which sees taiko stripped of its particular musical and theatrical elements. This year’s presentation features special segments from director Tatsu Aoki’s renowned Basser Live concerts to commemorate his achieving kanreki, or 60th birthday. In Japan, this significant birthday celebrates the completion of one Zodiac cycle and is a time to reflect on the past, as well as look ahead towards the future. Revel in the combined stylizations of Chicago’s contemporary creative musicians such as jazz greats Hamid Drake, Michael Zerang, and Nicole Mitchell and classical music masters Chizuru Kineya and Chindonya performer Yasushi Shimazaki, as Aoki brings together his musical influences and traditions for a memorable kanreki ritual.


Special Workshop: CHINDONYA (Street Troubadour)

Sunday, December 9 | 5:30 pm | $25 registration

CHINDONYA is a traditional type of Japanese street musician that advertised for local shops and businesses. The elaborately dressed performers parade through the streets playing music and singing to gather attention for their clients. Nowadays, the chindonya tradition has become more of a rarity in Japan. Taiko Legacy guest artist, Yasushi Shimazaki will present a special hands-on workshop tracing the origins of chindonya culture and explaining various instruments and routines, as well the theatrical implications of being a chindonya in today’s time.


Core Members

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Core Members

Tatsu Aoki – Artistic Director, Executive Director

Kiyomi Negi – Gintenkai Leader

Kioto Aoki – Gintenkai Captain/Instructor

Noriko Sugiyama – International Residency Performer / Instructor

Our History

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Our History

A Tsukasa Taiko drummer drumming a large taiko
1
The birth of Tsukasa Taiko broke new ground in the Chicago taiko community, incubating the idea of independence. Before Tsukasa, community taiko was associated with Buddhist Temples as membership was offered exclusively to those within each respective temple. Tsukasa Taiko became the first private taiko group independent of these exclusive organizations. The inclusiveness attracted many students to Tsukasa Taiko including some of the current core members. And consequently, Yoshihashi became the first independent taiko drummer. Encouraged by his success, Yoshihashi’s colleagues began creating their own groups. Many of these groups are still active today. Yoshihashi was a catalyst for this trend and an important contributor to Chicago taiko culture.
Tsukasa Taiko was founded in 1996 by Hide Yoshihashi with the help of Wakayagi Shiyu. Shiyu, a master of Japanese classical dance had founded her own taiko group Waka Daiko under her Wakayagi Ryu dance school. Yoshihashi later created Tsukasa Taiko 司太鼓, taking kanji from Shiyu’s name司友 and started to teach small weekly classes at the Wakayagi residence. He led community performances with his students, most notably at the Bon Odori Festival at Mitsuwa Marketplace when it was formerly known as Yaohan-. This summer festival became Tsukasa Taiko’s first annual event.
Tsukasa Taiko is currently one of the largest and most active community taiko groups in the Chicagoland area. Despite being one of the younger organizations, Tsukasa has over 50 professional and community performances throughout the year. The last decade has seen Tsukasa become a strong pioneering force, leaving behind a legacy that changed and continues to change the standards of the community taiko group.
Hide Yoshihashi and Wakayagi Shiyu in front of taiko
A Tsukasa Taiko drummer drumming a large taiko
2
Under this new structure, Yoshihashi was introduced into the scene as one of the first taiko players to be associated with professional music scenes . Yoshihashi performed at major venues, events and artistic projects representing Tsukasa Taiko, joined by Aoki’s two eldest children who were 4 & 7 at the time. Stages and events included the old HotHouse, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Asian American Jazz Festival. These years reveal Tsukasa Taiko’s early involvement in professional settings. Tsukasa was also the frontman to bring children and youth to the large stage. The first generation of Tsukasa Taiko’s regular performers consisted of students from around age 4 to 16, who were all performing with Yoshihashi at these venues and events.
Tatsu Aoki, founder and director of AIRMW became artistic director, as it was important that a working artist and musician with direct lineage to the classical Japanese arts would guide the group towards a new goal. Aoki was born into a traditional okiya household in Japan. He grew up playing taiko and shamisen (three-stringed Japanese lute) since age 4 as part of his cultural training and was part of a theatrical performing crew during his adolescence. Influenced by this unique background Aoki began nurturing the group with the distinct objective of maintaining the traditional aesthetic of the Japanese theatrical Arts. His creative direction and leadership was vital for the development of Tsukasa’s current professional and specific stage presence. Aoki’s guidance was also essential because Tsukasa’s affiliation with AIRMW meant it would now function as part of a non-profit arts organization. This status allowed more national and international connection with arts communities.
Yoshihashi started to collaborate with Asian Improv aRts Midwest in 2001 for more strategic operation for a group geared towards arts and culture. The shift was a significant beginning for evolving of Tsukasa Taiko’s legacy.
medium size taiko standing on stage on left background
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After Homma’s retirement in 2011 Tsukasa Taiko enlisted the help of Noriko Sugiyama who was a member of Ayutsubo Taiko in Shizuoka, Japan. Sugiyama represents a milestone for AIRMW and the Chicago taiko art scene. She is the first drummer to be working officially in Chicago with a VISA. Her involvement has been extensively to manage and expand the children’s classes at the main JASC dojo as well as Mitsuwa Marketplace, which has been Tsukasa’s second location for the last few years. Tsukasa has now over 60 members with almost 30 children.
In 2004 Tsukasa moved and established its artist residency at the Japanese Service Committee of Chicago where they currently reside. Shortly after in 2006, Yoshihashi retired. Amy Homma took over Yoshihashi’s leadership and became the head instructor and performer for Tsukasa Taiko. Homma had been playing with Yoshihashi throughout Tsukasa’s earlier years. Aoki took this opportunity to create a full-time position for Homma. She became the first full-time, professional taiko player in Chicago. This was an important benchmark in Chicago’s Japanese American cultural scene as there was no full time performer in the traditional arts outside perhaps the martial arts. Homma’s position effectively distinguished Tsukasa Taiko as an organization fully committed to establishing the taiko player as a qualified, musical artist. Homma was the only multicultural, bilingual representative of the community arts. She studied under Aoki to cultivate her artistic career, and performed in many local, national, and international professional scenes. She was the first community leader to officially perform in Japan, Poland and travelled multiple times to San Francisco.
medium size taiko standing on stage on right background
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The Gintenkai Unit’s role is to actualize the artistic goal in preserving, developing and passing on traditional concepts of Japanese art. Westernization and commercialization has created mass misinterpretation. Taiko music is often misrepresented as a form which values fast rhythmic patterns similar to those played on drum sets and drum lines. However, the aesthetic roots are found in theatrical concepts of kabuki and nichibu (Japanese classical dance). The concept of ma (the space between) is emphasized. Choreography is also important in presenting the movement of the body. These movements stem from classical Japanese dance, reinforcing the connection between music, dance and theatre.
This important aesthetic value is specific only to Tsukasa Taiko, and is what predominantly distinguishes Tsukasa from other groups. Tsukasa also reincorporated geza music to the stage using shamisen and shinobue as regular components.
The Gintenkai Unit focuses on compositions that Aoki grew up playing during the 1970s. The reincarnated pieces are are complex, refined arrangements that embody all the elements to preserve an authentic, Japanese aesthetic. Instead of a rhythm, melody and orchestration is valued and created.
In 2006 Aoki formed the Gintenkai Performance Unit. This unit is responsible for high caliber shows that are of a more professional nature than the community recitals and performances which showcase multiple levels of adult and children. Gintenkai is taught by Aoki and its members are advanced youth and young adult players. Most have been with Tsukasa for over a decade, starting classes with Yoshihashi. Since Homma’s retirement the Gintenkai Unit has taken full responsibility and leadership for all performances. Sugiyama has been an active member of Gintenkai since her arrival in 2011. They have played at The International House at the University of Chicago, Logan Center for the Arts, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Harris Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago Symphony Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and many more. Since 2010, Tsukasa Taiko has also participated in the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with 3 million viewers. No community taiko group had ever performed in these large scale venues before Tsukasa Taiko appeared on stage.
Tsukasa Taiko Drummer scene of holding bachi - sticks
Tsukasa Taiko is distinguished as being the sole Japanese speaking taiko group. Tsukasa emphasizes the preservation of language as part of the cultural legacy. Gintenkai Leader Kiyomi Negi and Gintenkai Captain Kioto Aoki are bilingual, second generation Japanese Americans. Though not all members are of Japanese descent classes are taught in English and Japanese, stressing cultural etiquette in the Chicago setting. As part of the educational outreach Tsukasa also offers lectures, workshops and classes for public schools and universities studying the Japanese language in the Chicagoland and Midwest area.
Tsukasa Taiko has many other milestone accomplishments. Tsukasa is currently the only community taiko group in Chicago with CD releases, recognizing the changing generations of Tsukasa’s history. The first CD was released in 2006 which highlighted Yoshihashi and a second was in produced in 2011 featuring Amy Homma and the Gintenkai Performance Unit. The most recent release in 2013 was an exclusive CD of Gintenkai Performance Unit.

Tsukasa Taiko has actively participated in public events supporting the recovery from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster around Chicago. This year of 2015 included an event at the Richard J. Daley Center coupled with a photo exhibit chronicling the rebuilding process.
Tsukasa Taiko has been a pioneer for visual presentation as well, introducing was the kai no kuchi musubi, a classic way to tie the happi obi to Chicago groups during Yoshihashi’s early experiences on the stage. Presently, Tsukasa’s performances require multiple costumes and costume changes. There are several variations of koikuchi (worn with and without harakake), happi, and hachimaki worn throughout a single show. Gintenkai members also wear traditional kimono and yukata. Additionally, Tsukasa is the only group which has implemented the hikinuki technique collaborating closely with Japanese classical dance school Fujima Ryu of Chicago.
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Tsukasa Taiko drummers on stage
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Taiko Legacy is important in truly portraying the national and international art legacy practice that Tsukasa Taiko works to preserve. International artist Grand Master Chizuru Kineya from Japan has been a part of Taiko Legacy for the last few years, as have Grandmaster Fujima Shunojo and Fujima Yoshinojo from Fujima Ryu of Chicago.Takane Umeya comes from Japan for the first time and Hyakkyou Fukuhara joins Tsukasa for a second time this year, and Melody Takata brings Gen Taiko from San Francisco. In addition to the aforementioned AACM members, Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang come back to form a dynamic trio with Gintenkai member Eigen Aoki.
One of the most important performances of the year for Tsukasa Taiko is the annual Taiko Legacy performance, hosted consecutively for the last few years at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Taiko Legacy is the largest show hosted by a community taiko group in Chicago, and is now part of the permanent museum archive. The show is a presentation of the traditional taiko arts both as a preservation and advancement of musical culture in the modern world. In 2013, the Taiko Legacy event included an evening show called “Reduction” which showcased a much more quiet, experimental presentation aimed at musically mature audiences. Reduction will be presented again this year, as Reduction II with Taiko Legacy 11.
Tsukasa Taiko has a national and international presence and regularly collaborates with artists and musicians overseas. Hide Yoshihashi, Amy Homma, and Kioto Aoki of Gintenkai have travelled to Poland to play at the Malta International Theater Festival and Made in Chicago Festival. Tatsu Aoki is an active avant-garde, jazz bassist himself and uses Tsukasa Taiko for creative endeavors such as his Miyumi Project. Hence Tsukasa Taiko is able to collaborate with renowned AACM musicians in Chicago such as Mwata Bowden, Ed Wilkersen Jr., Dee Alexander, Coco Elysses and Douglas Ewart. Tsukasa Taiko shares a similar attitude with these artists who are committed to preserving creative, non-mainstream, musical integrity. Tsukasa’s sister group resides in San Francisco; Gen Taiko from Gen Ryu Arts led by Melody Takata. Aoki also formed the National Gintenkai Project, teaching advanced players from Gen Taiko the same Gintenkai pieces he teaches Tsukasa’s Gintenkai Unit. Throughout the year, members fly out to play in annual performances for each group.
3 Japanese drums in a Row
Over the last decade, Tsukasa has expanded the scope of what the community taiko group can do and served as a pioneer in community professionalism, maintenance and development. It is an aesthetic and journey that can only be provided by the direct lineage that Tsukasa Taiko possesses.

Tsukasa Taiko aims to continue to use the cultural arts to deepen the Japanese and Japanese American Communities’ understanding of its heritage and cultural legacy.
Home » Photos and Videos » Mitsuwa New Year’s Mochitsuki

Our History

Tsukasa Taiko is currently one of the largest and most active community taiko groups in the Chicagoland area. Despite being one of the younger organizations, Tsukasa has over 50 professional and community performances throughout the year. The last decade has seen Tsukasa become a strong pioneering force, leaving behind a legacy that changed and continues to change the standards of the community taiko group.
Founder of Tsukasa Taiko Hide Yoshihashi with Wakayagi Shiyu
Tsukasa Taiko was founded in 1996 by Hide Yoshihashi with the help of Wakayagi Shiyu. Shiyu, a master of Japanese classical dance had founded her own taiko group Waka Daiko under her Wakayagi Ryu dance school. Yoshihashi later created Tsukasa Taiko 司太鼓, taking kanji from Shiyu’s name司友 and started to teach small weekly classes at the Wakayagi residence. He led community performances with his students, most notably at the Bon Odori Festival at Mitsuwa Marketplace when it was formerly known as Yaohan-. This summer festival became Tsukasa Taiko’s first annual event.

The birth of Tsukasa Taiko broke new ground in the Chicago taiko community, incubating the idea of independence. Before Tsukasa, community taiko was associated with Buddhist Temples as membership was offered exclusively to those within each respective temple. Tsukasa Taiko became the first private taiko group independent of these exclusive organizations. The inclusiveness attracted many students to Tsukasa Taiko including some of the current core members. And consequently, Yoshihashi became the first independent taiko drummer. Encouraged by his success, Yoshihashi’s colleagues began creating their own groups. Many of these groups are still active today. Yoshihashi was a catalyst for this trend and an important contributor to Chicago taiko culture.

Yoshihashi started to collaborate with Asian Improv aRts Midwest in 2001 for more strategic operation for a group geared towards arts and culture. The shift was a significant beginning for evolving of Tsukasa Taiko’s legacy. Tatsu Aoki, founder and director of AIRMW became artistic director, as it was important that a working artist and musician with direct lineage to the classical Japanese arts would guide the group towards a new goal. Aoki was born into a traditional okiya household in Japan. He grew up playing taiko and shamisen (three-stringed Japanese lute) since age 4 as part of his cultural training and was part of a theatrical performing crew during his adolescence. Influenced by this unique background Aoki began nurturing the group with the distinct objective of maintaining the traditional aesthetic of the Japanese theatrical Arts. His creative direction and leadership was vital for the development of Tsukasa’s current professional and specific stage presence. Aoki’s guidance was also essential because Tsukasa’s affiliation with AIRMW meant it would now function as part of a non-profit arts organization. This status allowed more national and international connection with arts communities.

Under this new structure, Yoshihashi was introduced into the scene as one of the first taiko players to be associated with professional music scenes . Yoshihashi performed at major venues, events and artistic projects representing Tsukasa Taiko, joined by Aoki’s two eldest children who were 4 & 7 at the time. Stages and events included the old HotHouse, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Asian American Jazz Festival. These years reveal Tsukasa Taiko’s early involvement in professional settings. Tsukasa was also the frontman to bring children and youth to the large stage. The first generation of Tsukasa Taiko’s regular performers consisted of students from around age 4 to 16, who were all performing with Yoshihashi at these venues and events.

In 2004 Tsukasa moved and established its artist residency at the Japanese Service Committee of Chicago where they currently reside. Shortly after in 2006, Yoshihashi retired. Amy Homma took over Yoshihashi’s leadership and became the head instructor and performer for Tsukasa Taiko. Homma had been playing with Yoshihashi throughout Tsukasa’s earlier years. Aoki took this opportunity to create a full-time position for Homma. She became the first full-time, professional taiko player in Chicago. This was an important benchmark in Chicago’s Japanese American cultural scene as there was no full time performer in the traditional arts outside perhaps the martial arts. Homma’s position effectively distinguished Tsukasa Taiko as an organization fully committed to establishing the taiko player as a qualified, musical artist. Homma was the only multicultural, bilingual representative of the community arts. She studied under Aoki to cultivate her artistic career, and performed in many local, national, and international professional scenes. She was the first community leader to officially perform in Japan, Poland and travelled multiple times to San Francisco.

After Homma’s retirement in 2011 Tsukasa Taiko enlisted the help of Noriko Sugiyama who was a member of Ayutsubo Taiko in Shizuoka, Japan. Sugiyama represents a milestone for AIRMW and the Chicago taiko art scene. She is the first drummer to be working officially in Chicago with a VISA. Her involvement has been extensively to manage and expand the children’s classes at the main JASC dojo as well as Mitsuwa Marketplace, which has been Tsukasa’s second location for the last few years. Tsukasa has now over 60 members with almost 30 children.

In 2006 Aoki formed the Gintenkai Performance Unit. This unit is responsible for high caliber shows that are of a more professional nature than the community recitals and performances which showcase multiple levels of adult and children. Gintenkai is taught by Aoki and its members are advanced youth and young adult players. Most have been with Tsukasa for over a decade, starting classes with Yoshihashi. Since Homma’s retirement the Gintenkai Unit has taken full responsibility and leadership for all performances. Sugiyama has been an active member of Gintenkai since her arrival in 2011. They have played at The International House at the University of Chicago, Logan Center for the Arts, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Harris Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago Symphony Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and many more. Since 2010, Tsukasa Taiko has also participated in the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with 3 million viewers. No community taiko group had ever performed in these large scale venues before Tsukasa Taiko appeared on stage.

The Gintenkai Unit’s role is to actualize the artistic goal in preserving, developing and passing on traditional concepts of Japanese art. Westernization and commercialization has created mass misinterpretation. Taiko music is often misrepresented as a form which values fast rhythmic patterns similar to those played on drum sets and drum lines. However, the aesthetic roots are found in theatrical concepts of kabuki and nichibu (Japanese classical dance). The concept of ma (the space between) is emphasized. Choreography is also important in presenting the movement of the body. These movements stem from classical Japanese dance, reinforcing the connection between music, dance and theatre. The Gintenkai Unit focuses on compositions that Aoki grew up playing during the 1970s. The reincarnated pieces are are complex, refined arrangements that embody all the elements to preserve an authentic, Japanese aesthetic. Instead of a rhythm, melody and orchestration is valued and created. This important aesthetic value is specific only to Tsukasa Taiko, and is what predominantly distinguishes Tsukasa from other groups. Tsukasa also reincorporated geza music to the stage using shamisen and shinobue as regular components.

Tsukasa Taiko has been a pioneer for visual presentation as well, introducing was the kai no kuchi musubi, a classic way to tie the happi obi to Chicago groups during Yoshihashi’s early experiences on the stage. Presently, Tsukasa’s performances require multiple costumes and costume changes. There are several variations of koikuchi (worn with and without harakake), happi, and hachimaki worn throughout a single show. Gintenkai members also wear traditional kimono and yukata. Additionally, Tsukasa is the only group which has implemented the hikinuki technique collaborating closely with Japanese classical dance school Fujima Ryu of Chicago.

Tsukasa Taiko has many other milestone accomplishments. Tsukasa is currently the only community taiko group in Chicago with CD releases, recognizing the changing generations of Tsukasa’s history. The first CD was released in 2006 which highlighted Yoshihashi and a second was in produced in 2011 featuring Amy Homma and the Gintenkai Performance Unit. The most recent release in 2013 was an exclusive CD of Gintenkai Performance Unit.

Tsukasa Taiko has actively participated in public events supporting the recovery from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster around Chicago. This year of 2015 included an event at the Richard J. Daley Center coupled with a photo exhibit chronicling the rebuilding process.

Tsukasa Taiko is distinguished as being the sole Japanese speaking taiko group. Tsukasa emphasizes the preservation of language as part of the cultural legacy. Gintenkai Leader Kiyomi Negi and Gintenkai Captain Kioto Aoki are bilingual, second generation Japanese Americans. Though not all members are of Japanese descent classes are taught in English and Japanese, stressing cultural etiquette in the Chicago setting. As part of the educational outreach Tsukasa also offers lectures, workshops and classes for public schools and universities studying the Japanese language in the Chicagoland and Midwest area.

Tsukasa Taiko has a national and international presence and regularly collaborates with artists and musicians overseas. Hide Yoshihashi, Amy Homma, and Kioto Aoki of Gintenkai have travelled to Poland to play at the Malta International Theater Festival and Made in Chicago Festival. Tatsu Aoki is an active avant-garde, jazz bassist himself and uses Tsukasa Taiko for creative endeavors such as his Miyumi Project. Hence Tsukasa Taiko is able to collaborate with renowned AACM musicians in Chicago such as Mwata Bowden, Ed Wilkersen Jr., Dee Alexander, Coco Elysses and Douglas Ewart. Tsukasa Taiko shares a similar attitude with these artists who are committed to preserving creative, non-mainstream, musical integrity. Tsukasa’s sister group resides in San Francisco; Gen Taiko from Gen Ryu Arts led by Melody Takata. Aoki also formed the National Gintenkai Project, teaching advanced players from Gen Taiko the same Gintenkai pieces he teaches Tsukasa’s Gintenkai Unit. Throughout the year, members fly out to play in annual performances for each group.

One of the most important performances of the year for Tsukasa Taiko is the annual Taiko Legacy performance, hosted consecutively for the last few years at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Taiko Legacy is the largest show hosted by a community taiko group in Chicago, and is now part of the permanent museum archive. The show is a presentation of the traditional taiko arts both as a preservation and advancement of musical culture in the modern world. In 2013, the Taiko Legacy event included an evening show called “Reduction” which showcased a much more quiet, experimental presentation aimed at musically mature audiences. Reduction will be presented again this year, as Reduction II with Taiko Legacy 11.

Taiko Legacy is important in truly portraying the national and international art legacy practice that Tsukasa Taiko works to preserve. International artist Grand Master Chizuru Kineya from Japan has been a part of Taiko Legacy for the last few years, as have Grandmaster Fujima Shunojo and Fujima Yoshinojo from Fujima Ryu of Chicago.Takane Umeya comes from Japan for the first time and Hyakkyou Fukuhara joins Tsukasa for a second time this year, and Melody Takata brings Gen Taiko from San Francisco. In addition to the aforementioned AACM members, Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang come back to form a dynamic trio with Gintenkai member Eigen Aoki.

Over the last decade, Tsukasa has expanded the scope of what the community taiko group can do and served as a pioneer in community professionalism, maintenance and development. It is an aesthetic and journey that can only be provided by the direct lineage that Tsukasa Taiko possesses.
Tsukasa Taiko aims to continue to use the cultural arts to deepen the Japanese and Japanese American Communities’ understanding of its heritage and cultural legacy.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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Our Supporters

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Collaborators and Friends

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Tsukasa Taiko is proud of our collaborative efforts with various aspects of the arts.


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Collaborative Projects

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Shubukai Fujima Shunojo and Fujima Yoshinojo
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Shubukai

Shubukai presents cultural arts and educational presentations throughout Chicago and the Midwest, and is committed to maintaining and sustaining the core aesthetics of Japanese classical dance in Chicago and the Asian American community.

www.shubukai.org

Tsukasa Taiko National Gintenkai logo

National Gintenkai

Aoki formed the National Gintenkai Project, teaching advanced players from Gen Taiko the same Gintenkai pieces he teaches Tsukasa’s Gintenkai Unit. Throughout the year, members fly out to play in annual performances for each group.

toyoakis shamisen Chizuru Kineya and Tatsu Aoki
Toyoaki Shamisen logo

Toyoaki Shamisen

Chicago’s renowned musician, Tatsu Aoki, presents his new work of a 300-year legacy of Japanese cultural arts. 

www.toyoaki.org

The Miyumi Project stage performance Thumbnail Picture
The Miyumi Project logo

The Miyumi Project

Tatsu Aoki and his band, The Miyumi Project featuring Tsukasa Taiko celebrate the collaboration between African-American and Asian-American jazz artists with a multi-generational group fusing Avant Garde jazz with taiko drumming.

www.miyumiproject.com

'I want the sky to land here to cool it, and make it well again.
 

Sky Landing

In 2016, the MIYUMI Project & Tsukasa Taiko was chosen as the official musical presenters for Yoko Ono’s “SKYLANDING” Project here in Chicago and resulted in the Yoko Ono produced SKYLANDING album, an innovative, energetic musical experience. Each successive grouping of musicians over the past two decades have contributed to the unique blending of modern application with traditional sensibility.

www.skylanding.com

 




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Educational Program

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Tsukasa Taiko Educational Program Scene
The mission of Tsukasa Taiko at JASC is to preserve and pass on the traditional concepts of taiko as a cultural legacy and to utilize these concepts in expanding and evolving the taiko form. One of the ways is through educational programming. Read More…

Beginners Workshop

Tsukasa Taiko offers taiko classes and workshops throughout the year as well as the opportunity to learn other traditional Japanese musical instruments, including the shamisen (3-string lute) and shinobue (bamboo flute).

OUR LOCATION

Japanese American Service Committee (JASC)
4427 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
For inquires contact
Kay Kawaguchi
(773) 275.0097 x 226
www.jasc-chicago.org

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