Author: Wynn Kiyama

Taiko Classes for Winter 2018

We’re thrilled to announce our next round of taiko classes beginning on Thursday, February 1 with our two-hour TAIKO 101 WORKSHOP and continuing with our new INTRODUCTION TO ODAIKO AND SHIME classes from Wednesday, February 7 to March 21. For our more experienced students, BEYOND BASICS will offer provide an opportunity to strengthen your skills, build on repertoire learned in previous classes, and concentrate on form, timing, and ensemble playing. We hope to get you drumming in the new year!

Taiko Together–Sold Out Success!

Thank you so much for helping us sell out our fall concert, TAIKO TOGETHER, featuring the four Portland-based taiko groups: Portland Taiko, Takohachi, en Taiko, and Unit Souzou. Special thanks to Carlos and Stacie Tokunaga who made it possible to commission a new work from Kristy Oshiro for our all-group finale! Here are some quick shots of the finale from photographer Brian Sweeney!

  

Oregon Symphony, Sounds of Home, “American Voices”
Friday, October 13, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Wieden+Kennedy Atrium at 224 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Portland Taiko is excited to team with the Oregon Symphony in their “Sounds of Home” program exploring Portland’s relationship with immigration and the influence of the immigrant experience on local arts and culture. We can’t wait to share the stage with Milagro, Edna Vazquez, Oregon Catholic Charities, and OR Symphony musicians and staff.

TAIKO TOGETHER
Saturday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.
PCC Sylvania, Performing Art Center at 12000 Southwest 49th Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Portland Taiko is pleased to present TAIKO TOGETHER featuring four Portland-based taiko groups together on one stage! Portland Taiko, Takohachi, En Taiko, and Unit Souzou will join together on Saturday, September 30 at PCC Sylvania, The Performing Arts Center for a rousing evening of group performances, special collaborations between the ensembles, and a commissioned finale for all four groups, written by former Portland Taiko performer Kristy Oshiro. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see and hear our city’s finest taiko groups in one setting! For wheelchair-accessible seats and general inquiries, please contact Portland Taiko at (503) 288-2456 or info@portlandtaiko.org.

Taiko Together Concert on September 30, 2017

Portland Taiko is pleased to present TAIKO TOGETHER featuring four Portland-based taiko groups together on one stage!

Portland Taiko, Takohachi, En Taiko, and Unit Souzou will join together on Saturday, September 30 at PCC Sylvania, The Performing Arts Center for a rousing evening of group performances, special collaborations between the ensembles, and a commissioned finale for all four groups, written by former Portland Taiko performer Kristy Oshiro. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see and hear our city’s finest taiko groups in one setting! Get your tickets here!

        

Supported by: Alice Sumida, Carlos and Stacie Tokunaga, and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. Photos by Brian Sweeney.

Jennifer Chiba

I have been a preschool teacher for 15 years and am a mother of two wonderful kids. Now that both children are away at college, I wanted to give back to my community and joined Portland Taiko’s Board of Directors in April of 2017. I first became involved with Portland Taiko seven years ago when my son, Toshiki, joined their taiko camp for a week. He fell in love with it and through hard work, eventually became a performing member. Being a member of the taiko community as a parent and now as a board member is an absolute joy and a wonderful learning experience.

Portland Taiko at the Obon Fest!

Portland Taiko had a wonderful time performing at the Oregon Buddhist Temple’s Obon Festival on Saturday! It was great seeing so many members of our community eating, drinking, celebrating, and dancing together! Special thanks to our “Portland Festival Yatai” team who assembled the yatai for use as the temple’s yagura (central platform) this year.

Photos by Craig Barnhill

Drums of Three Nations
Sunday, June 11, 2:00 p.m.
World Trade Center at 121 SW Salmon St.
Portland, Oregon
Sponsored by the Consul General of Japan, Honorary Consul of S. Korea, and Oregon-China Sister State Association. Featuring drumming performances by Li Lin and the Portland Lee Association Lion Dance Team, Seung-hee Ji, and Portland Taiko! Free event but registration requested here.

Rose Festival Starlight Parade!

Join Portland Taiko as we unveil our PORTLAND FESTIVAL YATAI at the Rose Festival Starlight Parade on Saturday, June 3, 8:30 p.m. We’ll have 26 parade participants, with performers on and off the cart, volunteer pushers, and others joining in the merriment as we walk through the streets of downtown Portland! We hope to see you there! 

Eat! Celebrate! Support! at the Portland Taiko Benefit Banquet

SOLD OUT!!! We’re looking forward to seeing you at the 2017 Benefit Banquet, featuring a hosted NW wine and beer reception followed by a delicious, eight-course, vegetarian-friendly Cantonese dinner. We have an exciting program of taiko performances, mystery origami leis, live auction and paddle raise, honored guests, and special surprises! 

Thursday, May 11 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Wong’s King Seafood Restaurant (8733 SE Division Street)

 

 

Youth Scholarship Program!

Portland Taiko is proud to announce a Youth Scholarship Program for its upcoming spring class session. Two scholarships will be awarded to students aged 8-18, covering all registration costs for the spring class (Beginning or Intermediate) running from April 26 to June 7, 2017. Previous taiko experience is recommended but not required. To apply, please write a short essay (350 to 500 words) that includes the following information:

  • Introduction (name, parent/guardian’s name, contact information, age, grade level, school),
  • Hobbies and activities (music, dance, sports, martial arts, etc.), and
  • Explain why you would like to play taiko with us.

Please email your essay as a Word or text file (doc, docx, rtf, or pdf) to info@portlandtaiko.org by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2017. Thank you in advance for your submission!

75th Anniversary of E.O. 9066

It was a busy and significant weekend for Portland Taiko, marking the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. Some of us performed in Eugene at the Asian Celebration and some of us participated in the #NeverAgain vigil at the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland.

Pictures from Eugene (credit: Craig Barnhill) and KGW footage from Portland here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mochitsuki 2017

We’re excited to be co-sponsoring and performing at Mochitsuki on Sunday 1/29, the annual Japanese American New Year celebration in Portland! We’ll be sharing the stage with a fantastic lineup of performers including Oregon Koto Kai, Takohachi, Utsukikai, Sahomi Tachibana Dancers, storytellers Alton Takiyama-Chung and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, kendama champion Wyatt Bray, and the Slants! 

Watch for Portland Taiko and Utsukikai on KATU, Thursday morning 1/26, as we spread the word about Mochitsuki! 

This event is made possible by volunteers and we could still use your help. If you’d like to be a part of our generous volunteer community, please consider helping and you’ll receive free general admission: http://mochipdx.org/event-details/volunteer/

Vision and Vigilance Candlelight Vigil

Sunday, December 11, 4 p.m. | link
Japanese American Historical Plaza

In response to post-election instances of racial targeting and student harassment, Portland Taiko will team with Oya No Kai and Grant High School for a student workshop and dialogue, and the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Portland JACL, and the Japanese Ancestral Society in a candelight vigil at the Japanese American Historical Plaza.

 

What an action-packed year!

In 2016, Portland Taiko moved its operations to the Oregon Buddhist Temple, designed new t-shirts, designed new costumes, designed a new website, commissioned drawings for the Portland Festival Yatai, recruited two trainees and three new performing members, recruited one new Board member, welcomed back three former members, reestablished the PT Benefit Banquet, offered taiko classes and workshops, collaborated with Multnomah County libraries, presented workshop-performances at elementary schools, and performed at Washington Park, Oregon Symphony Waterfront Concert, Hoyt Arboretum, Methow Arts Center, Laika, Portland Art Museum, Oregon Convention Center, Gerding Theater, the Davis Cup, and for Mochitsuki, Oya No Kai, Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Oregon Buddhist Temple, Asian Celebration, and other local organizations and events! 

As 2016 comes to a close, we ask that you consider a donation to help us drive our key 2017 initiatives:

  • Kodo at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall: intimate pre-concert performance by Portland Taiko (February)
  • Seattle mini tour: performances at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival (April)
  • New collaborations: Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Children’s Museum, Young Musicians & Artists, Grace Art Camp, Anjali Dance, Northwest Children’s Theater, and OMSI (May–August)
  • Portland Festival Yatai: the design and construction of a Japanese festival cart to represent PT in the Rose Festival Starlight Parade (June)
  • Taiko Together: a special concert featuring the four taiko groups in Portland: Portland Taiko, Takohachi, en Taiko, and Unit Souzou (September)
  • New assembly programs: development of new programs and repertoire for schools and workshops
  • Operations: expenses related to classes, workshops, and rehearsals (staffing, rent, utilities)

Your generosity will help PT meet these exciting objectives with full force at the top of the New Year. Please donate online or by check to Portland Taiko; 3728 SE 34th Avenue; Portland, OR 97202. Thank you for your kind support and here’s to an amazing 2017!!!

Chad Williams (Board President) and Wynn Kiyama (Executive Director)

PSU Cultural Resource Center Grand Opening

Wednesday, November 2, 5:00 p.m.
Portland State University
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom
1825 SW Broadway
Free event

Join the PSU Cultural Resource Centers as it celebrates the momentous addition of the Pan-African Commons and Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American Student Center. Our formal presentation will begin at 5:00 p.m. and will be followed by dinner, entertainment, and dancing. This event is FREE and open to the public. No ticket required. Portland Taiko performs towards the end of the event around 7:00 p.m.

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Big Success for Sound in Motion!

Thanks for making our Sound in Motion concert a big success! TaikoProject put on an amazing show and collaborated with Portland Taiko on PT’s “TaikoKinesis” and TP’s “Here We Go Now!!” We had a great audience and an incredible group of volunteers helping with the show. Here are just a few photos, shot by Brian Sweeney, from the concert!  

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Toshiki, Matthew, and Karen in HA!
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Kelsey in Oyako Don Don
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Finale with TaikoProject