May 19, 2024

UMW Hosts Japanese Style Drumming Ensemble, Nov. 9-10

The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble will bring the Japanese style of drumming known as taiko to the University of Mary Washington when the group gives a demonstration on Tuesday, November 9 and a concert on Wednesday, November 10.

The ensemble is led by Endo, a leading persona in contemporary percussion and rhythm and the vanguard of the Japanese drumming genre called taiko. A performer, composer and teacher of taiko, Endo has received numerous awards for blending taiko with rhythms influenced by his jazz background and collaborations around the world.

The ensemble includes Hitoshi Hamada, one of Japan’s top jazz vibraphonists; Kaoru Watanabe, the leading transverse bamboo flutist in the United States; Shoko Matsumoto, a Japanese zither player and experimental dancer; and Tadayoshi Yasuda, a 3-stringed Japanese lute artist who regularly performs on the kabuki stage.

The group’s program, called “Gateway–‘Ma’ vs. Groove,” will explore the Japanese concept of ‘ma,’ or space in the rhythm, juxtaposed with the Western musical concept of groove, or playing with swing.

The lecture-demonstration will cover the history, traditions, techniques and instruments of taiko. It will be held at 4 p.m. on November 9 in George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on November 10 in Dodd Auditorium.

Both programs are free, open to the public and sponsored by the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.