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Taikoza will present free performance on campus

10/31/2008 —

Taikoza, a Japanese Taiko drum group, will present a free performance at Penn State Beaver on Wednesday, Nov. 12 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Lodge of the Student Union Building.

Taikoza uses the powerful rhythms of the Taiko drums to create a unique, energetic energy and sound. The taiko is a large, barrel-like drum that sounds like rolling thunder. Drawing from Japan's rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza performers also play the shakuhachi and the fue (both bamboo flutes) and the koto (a 13 string instrument).

Taikoza was formed in New York City by members of Ondekoza, the group that started the modern-day renaissance of Japanese Taiko in the 1960’s and introduced Taiko to the world. Taikoza love of drumming transcends national boundaries and brings new energy to this ancestral form. Taikoza has performed throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. The group has also appeared on the History Channel and can be heard on The Last Samurai DVD set.

The group’s members come from culturally diverse backgrounds. European Marco Lienhard is a fue and shakuhachi musician and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Osaka Castle Hall, and the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Koto player Masayo Ishigure, a Japanese native, arrived in the United States in 1992 to play with the San Diego Orchestra and the New York City Ballet and has recorded music that was played at the Nagano Olympics. Momo Suzuki began classical Japanese dance studies at the Fujima School of Yamagata, Japan. Before her arrival in New York, Suzuki was a teaching member of the Kamioka Japanese Folk Dance Company of Tokyo. As a kimono clad Japanese dancer she was featured in Madonna’s music video, Nothing Really Matters. Other group members are Taiko players Marguerite Z. Bunyan, Malika Yasuko Duckworth, Masayuki Mizunuma, and Chikako Saito.
For more information, contact Jessica Jackson, campus coordinator of residence life and student activities at jrj15@psu.edu or 724-773-3947, or contact Amy Gartley, associate director of student affairs, at asb1@psu.edu or 724-773-3956. Visit the Taikoza Web site at http://www.taikoza.com.

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