COURTESY OF RAYMOND YUEN / KENNYENDO.COM
Gabriel Ishida, left, and Kirstin Pauka of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble at a recent performance at Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaii -- Manoa campus.
Taiko drummers to tour the islands
Celebrating 30 years of taiko drumming, consummate taiko (Japanese drum) artist Kenny Endo combines members of his Tokyo, Honolulu and continental U.S. ensembles for a special Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble "East Meets West" Hawaii state performance tour starting this weekend.
The Concert Schedule
» 8 p.m. Friday: Kahilu Theatre, 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Waimea, Big Island -- tickets $25, $30 and $35 at (808) 885-6868.
» 7:30 p.m. Saturday: University of Hawaii-Hilo Concert Performing Arts Center Main Stage, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo -- tickets $12 to $25 at (808) 974-7310.
» 4 p.m. Sunday: Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel St. -- tickets $10 to $25 at 528-0506 or www.hawaiitheatre.com
» 7 p.m. Oct. 19: Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center, Lihue -- for ticket info call (808) 245-2733 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
» 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21: Castle Theatre, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Kahului -- tickets $20 to $27 at (808) 242-SHOW or www.purchase.tickets.com.
Note: Following the interisland tour, the ensemble will continue on to North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, New York, Connecticut and California.
With tradition as his basis for innovation, Endo has paved new directions in the use of traditional taiko, bringing a refreshing and creative approach to music through his western, ethnic and traditional Japanese influences.
The tour features both Japanese and Western instruments in an eclectic collaboration of traditional and world rhythms, and modern compositions. Instrumentation includes the large taiko drums, tsuzumi (Japanese hour-glass hand drum), bamboo flutes, 17-string bass koto, vibraphones and congas, as well as Latin, Japanese and world percussion.
The "East Meets West" ensemble includes from the East: Kyosuke Suzuki, one of Japan's leading performers of festival music and Edo Sato Kagura (Shinto music), and also considered one of the top lion dancers of the Tokyo style; Yoshinori Nomi, one of the original Tokyo Cuban Boys, famous for introducing Latin music to Japan; and virtuosic vibraphone player Hitoshi Hamada, considered one of the best in Japan.
The ensemble includes from the West: Masakazu Yoshizawa on shakuhachi (bamboo flute), woodwinds and percussion; 17-string bass koto (Japanese zither) extraordinaire Shoko Hikage; and Endo's dynamic taiko drummers from his Honolulu and continental U.S.-based ensembles, including Eien Hunter (taiko, vibraphones and percussion), Kirstin Pauka (taiko and percussion) and Joy Tanaka (taiko and percussion).
The Honolulu concert will additionally feature all members of the Honolulu Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble with a special guest, world-class drummer and percussionist Noel Okimoto.