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On Saturday, Sept. 8, residents at The Heritage of Green Hills will march to the beat of their own drum as they participate in an interactive performance by KyoDaiko, Philadelphia’s only taiko drumming group.
Beginning at 3 p.m., the members of KyoDaiko will deliver a heart-pounding presentation with breaks in between to discuss the history of taiko, the drums and the traditional costumes. Those in the audience will have an opportunity to create music as well by contributing to the background sounds, called “kiai” and “ji”.
KyoDaiko, which translates to “a community of drummers” in Japanese, includes performers from a variety of backgrounds, ages and experience levels, whom all share a love of the taiko experience.
Led by instructor Kristopher Rudzinski, KyoDaiko is a community-based group and collaboration between Settlement Music School and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park. KyoDaiko formed in 2005 thanks to a group of passionate, interested local musicians who sent their instructor to receive formal training under a taiko master in New York.
“As a community group, and as a taiko ensemble, this spirit of cooperation and community is at the core of who we are,” said Therese Stephen, business manager for KyoDaiko.
The performance will consist of several taiko drumming pieces followed by a question and answer session. Residents and guests will also have the chance to see the drums up close and even play the instruments, including the Odaiko, a large, three-foot drum that is the heart of the taiko ensemble.
Taiko drums trace back hundreds of years in Japan, where they were used in battle to communicate over vast distances. Traditionally, only one or two drums were used at a time, but in the 1950’s the idea of using numerous drums at once was introduced and has since become customary, usually played with precise, elaborate movements. Today there are almost 4,000 taiko groups in Japan and 150 in North America.
KyoDaiko performs at weddings, festivals, business events and conferences, most often in Pennsylvania, but also in New Jersey, Maryland, Washington D.C. and California.
“The combination of drum rhythms and choreographed movement is what distinguishes Taiko from other types of music,” said Stephen. “This, and the powerful sensation you get from feeling the beat of the drum resonate through your body is what makes it so fun to listen to and watch.”
The event is free and open to the public. To reserve your seat for this event, or for more information about The Heritage of Green Hills, contact Cheryl Anderson at 484-269-5145 or visit www.HeritageOfGreenHills.com.