University of Dubuque

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San Jose Taiko

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Posted Mar 6, 2014

Heritage Center, the University of Dubuque’s performing arts, worship, and campus center, concludes its inaugural Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series with San Jose Taiko on Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, San Jose Taiko performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit through the voice of the taiko drums as they strive to create new dimensions in Asian American movement and music.

WHAT:           Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series – San Jose Taiko

WHEN:            Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:30 p.m.  (Free 6:30 p.m. pre-show lecture)

WHERE:          John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center

TICKETS:       $25-$29 for adults, $15 for students

San Jose Taiko (SJT) has been mesmerizing audiences with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the taiko drums for 40 years. The group has broadened and embellished the historical art form into a style that joins the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms including African, Balinese, Brazilian, Latin, and jazz percussion. Company members also study both traditional and contemporary dance with leading choreographers, producing performances that are fully choreographed and theatrically lit extravaganzas of musical sound.

Continuing the core values of founding directors and National Endowment for the Arts 2011 National Heritage Fellows, Roy & PJ Hirabayashi, San Jose Taiko performance and expression are predicated upon a profound respect for each member of the group. The spirit and essence of both rehearsal and performance require physical endurance, with running and exercise required of all members during practice sessions. All compositions performed by SJT are written or arranged by members of the group. Composing, choreographing, designing and producing costumes, and handcrafting of the drums are part of the holistic process in which all members participate. Through this singleness of mind and spirit, harmony is achieved and the music rings with unity and clarity.

Since 1987, when SJT became one of the first American taiko ensembles invited to tour Japan, the company has collaborated in joint concerts with internationally renowned Asian performing artists including Kodo, Ondekoza, Osuwa Taiko, and Miyarabi Taiko. SJT has also collaborated with artists from a variety of other disciplines as well.

SJT has been recognized for its artistic and managerial excellence by the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, Meet the Composer International Creative Collaborations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Chevron Award for Excellence. In 1994, SJT was honored by the Arts Council of Santa Clara County with a commendation for community leadership for its efforts to foster cultural and ethnic diversity in the arts.

The performance will be preceded by a free pre-show lecture in Babka Theatre from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. during which a member of San Jose Taiko will share background information on the group and the evening’s program. The pre-show session will close with a question-and-answer period.

Tickets for San Jose Taiko can be purchased now at the Farber Box Office, open Monday through Friday from 12:00 noon to 5:30 p.m. at Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563-585-SHOW; or online at www.dbq.edu/heritagecenter.

This engagement is supported, in part, by the William P. Woodward Visiting Artist-in-Residence Endowment.

TH Media serves as the Heritage Center 2013-2014 season presenting media partner.