UCR Taiko Ensemble Holds Performances

By Robert Bastone, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing


On Tuesday, March 2, the UCR Taiko Ensemble gave a performance of the ancient musical medium, known as "taiko." Tuesday's performance was held at the base of the Arts Building Amphitheatre steps from noon to 1pm. The March 2 showcase was the first in a series of three shows planned for 2004.

Taiko is commonly known as the art of Japanese drumming. The term "taiko" encompasses the entire medium; however, it simply means "big drum." The Taiko Ensemble at UCR is conducted by Reverend Thomas Shuichi Kurai, and is offered as Music 169, a one unit class. The Taiko Ensemble will be offered during Spring quarter from 11:10-12:30 on Tuesdays in the Barn Theatre. Space is still available for those who are interested in enrolling.

Rev. Kurai, a Zen Buddhist minister, has taught and performed Taiko with many groups for over twenty-five years.   He is the recipient of several grants awarded for the preservation of the art of taiko in the community.  Rev. Kurai has also performed taiko for the Academy-Award nominated film, The Thin Red Line.

The Taiko Ensemble and Rev. Kurai are scheduled to perform two more times in 2004, May 25 and November 25. Both shows will be held from 12pm to 1pm at the base of the Arts Building Amphitheatre steps. The performances are free and open to the public.

For more information on Music 169, please refer to the UCR course catalog. If you would like more information on joining or watching the Taiko Ensemble, refer to the Taiko Ensemble website.

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