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History and Achievements of Tsukasa Taiko 6
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.
Chicago Taiko Legacy 2004
In May-June 2004, Tsukasa Taiko in association with the JASC and Asian American arts organization, Asian Improv aRts Midwest, presented the First AnnualChicago Taiko Legacy. The Taiko Legacy is a multi-day event featuring lecture/demonstrations and live performances intended to further the understanding of taiko and its relationship to Japanese American and Asian American identity and community.
The Third Annual Chicago Taiko Legacy, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006, 2-4pm
Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center
Saturday, December 9, 2006, 11am-12:30pm
The Japanese American Service Committee
The Fifth Annual CHICAGO TAIKO LEGACY, 2008
Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art(MCA)
Annual Taiko Legacy 7, 2010
Museum of Contemporary Art
Annual Taiko Legacy 9, 2012
Museum of Contemporary Art