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JASC Tsukasa Taiko:
Taiko Legacy 7

Dec 18–19, 2010

An aural landmark: combining thunderous drumming, jazz improvisations, and stylized kimono dance, Taiko Legacy 7 was invented in Chicago and remains the country’s only collaboration of this scale. Tatsu Aoki and Amy Homma co-direct three generations of artists from Tokyo, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. Taiko drumming grounds Taiko Legacy 7 in an innovative cross-pollination of cultures and artistic forms with roots in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean theater, ceremonial music, and court music. Copresenting this annual favorite with JASC Tsukasa Taiko since 2001, the MCA Stage was the country’s first presenter of Taiko Legacy in 1998. For the 2010 celebration Taiko Legacy 7 unites: from Tokyo, grand master of shakuhachi Kizan Kwawamura and Noriko Sugiyama of Ayutsubo Taiko; from San Francisco, Melody Takata of Gen Ryu Arts, Wesley Hitomo Yee and Nicholas Low of Gen Taiko, and Korean drum master/vocalist Dohee Lee; from New York, Jonathan Chen on electronics and violin; and from Chicago, Fujima Ryu Japanese Classical Dancers directed by Fujima Shunojo, Tatsu Aoki performing shamisen, Mwata Bowden on reeds, and Nicole Mitchell on flutes..


Program Notes

About the Artists:
The MCA Stage presented the country’s first Taiko Legacy with Tatsu Aoki in 1998, for his solo bass project Basser Live featuring visual artist Amy Lee Segami’s slideshow of Suminagashi (a painting on water technique originating in China more than two millennia ago and brought to Japan in the 12th century by Shinto priests), John Sagami performing Taiko (Japanese drum) and Paul Kim performing Buk (Korean drum). Advancing Taiko Legacy’s development was MCA Stage’s 2001 presentation with the JASC of Tatsu Aoki’s inaugural MIYUMI project Big Band: Origins of Now. MCA Stage’s presentation in 2003 of US-JAPAN 150, which commemorated the centennial of US-Japanese relations, featured for the first time in the country master shinobue artists from Tokyo performing with Taiko masters from San Francisco and Chicago, and completed by leading jazz improvisers including Jonathan Chen, Mwata Bowden, and Tatsu Aoki.


Presented with Asian ImprovArts Midwest