Author: Wynn Kiyama

Starlight Parade

Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 8:30 p.m.
Downtown Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland Taiko is thrilled to run its Portland Festival Yatai (float) once again through the streets of downtown Portland at the Rose Festival Starlight Parade. This year, we’ll be debuting our brand-new festival music written by Keiko Araki! Parade route and information here.

Fear No Music

Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
The Old Church
1422 SW 11th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Portland Taiko will appear as guests for Fear No Music’s Japanarama concert, reprising Kenji Bunch’s Dango Jiru and other pieces from our Sticks and Strings concert. Also works by Pauchi Sasaki, Barbara White, Stephen Hartke, and Wang Jie. Get your tickets here!

25th Anniversary Benefit Banquet

THANK YOU!!!

Thank you all for celebrating Portland Taiko’s 25th anniversary at our Benefit Banquet! It was especially meaningful having PT’s co-founders ANN ISHIMARU and ZACHARY SEMKE in attendance. We also took the opportunity to recognize MICHAEL HALE for his 14 years of volunteering and VALERIE OTANI for her 25 years of drumming and guiding the organization with her wisdom, kindness, and compassion. Thanks to your generosity, we exceeded our fundraising goals and are thrilled to move forward with all of our initiatives for 2020!!!

Oregon Historical Society, Family Day

Saturday, February 16 at 12:00 p.m.
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Join us for a fun, family day at the Experience Oregon Grand Opening Celebration with performances by BRAVO Youth Orchestras, Oregon Trail Trio, Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, The Prairie Blossoms, and storytelling by Esther and Shannin Stutzman! Portland Taiko plays for 15 minutes starting at 12:00 p.m.

THANK YOU for coming to our fall concert, STICKS AND STRINGS at Lincoln Performance Hall. It was a thrilling evening with inspiring performances from Fear No Music, en Taiko, and Kenji Bunch. We’ll share photos soon and thank you again for your support!

Mochitsuki

Sunday, January 27, 2019
PSU Viking Pavilion at the Peter Stott Center
930 SW Hall Street
Portland, Oregon
We’re excited to perform at the brand-new venue, the Viking Pavilion, at the Peter Stott Center! Come enjoy the same format of food vendors, cultural demonstrations, community organizations, and a full performance lineup at the new location in the Year of the Boar!

No No Boy
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Oregon Buddhist Temple
3720 SE 34th Avenue
Portland, Oregon
The night before our fall concert, we will collaborate with the songwriting and activist team of No No Boy for their opening number. Tickets are $10 with part of the proceeds benefiting the Oregon Buddhist Temple!

STICKS AND STRINGS
Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln Performance Hall
1620 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Tickets are now available for our fall concert highlighting Portland Taiko’s melodic repertoire for taiko, flute, and violin. The concert will feature guest musicians from the new music ensemble Fear No Music, youth taiko group en Taiko, and the premiere of Dango Jiru, a commissioned work for taiko, flute, violin, and cello composed by Kenji Bunch, Artistic Director of Fear No Music. Purchase your tickets here!

Celebration of Life for Bill Bulick
Reed Performing Arts Building
Saturday, August 4, 2018, 2:00 p.m.
28th and Botsford Drive (west end of campus)
Portland, Oregon

Rose Festival Starlight Parade
Saturday, June 2, 9:00 p.m.
Downtown Portland from Burnside/9th to Lincoln High School
Portland, Oregon
We’re thrilled to be relaunching our festival cart at this year’s Starlight Parade! Grab your beach chairs, find a spot along the parade route, and take part in this free, fun-filled Portland tradition!

Kaisho

My first experience with taiko was a parent-child workshop led by Karen Tingey when I was 4.5 years old. After several years of classes, I performed with Tanuki Taiko and Portland Taiko at Mochitsuki in 2013. In addition to taiko and piano, I also enjoy playing soccer and curling.

Donovan Carrillo

I started playing taiko when I was 12, when my parents and I all signed up for a beginning taiko class with Shinsho Mugen Daiko. While at first it was just something fun to do with my parents, I soon found it provided a physical and mental challenge that school, and later working as a hardware engineer, could not. Taiko has been a great way for me to connect to new communities whenever I changed location; the shared experience of learning and performing together, combined with the powerful sound of the taiko, helped create connections that were otherwise difficult for me. I spent four years in Colorado Springs after college, playing with the newly formed Taiko Society, before moving to Portland in 2016. I started taking classes with Portland Taiko that year and became a trainee in 2017. I look forward to many new adventures with Portland Taiko!

Taiko Conference Coming to Portland in 2019!

We’re thrilled that Portland has been chosen to host the next North American Taiko Conference in 2019! Approximately 450 taiko drummers from across the United States, Canada, Japan, and elsewhere will attend the conference at Portland State University from August 9-11, 2019. Portland Taiko is excited to work once again with Takohachi, en Taiko, Unit Souzou, PSU Taiko Ensemble, and the Catlin Gabel Taiko Group as the host committee, collectively known as the Taiko Community of Portland (TCOP). Stay tuned for more information!

PORTLAND TAIKO BENEFIT BANQUET 2018: Eat, Celebrate, Support

Join us for a hosted NW wine and beer reception followed by a delicious eight-course, vegetarian-friendly Cantonese dinner. Enjoy an exciting program of taiko performances, mystery origami leis, a live auction and paddle raise, honored guests, and special surprises! Purchase your tickets here! Friday, April 6, 2018 Wong’s King Seafood Restaurant 6:00-6:30 p.m. Hosted Wine & Beer 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dinner and Program

Lynn Grannan

When Portland Taiko started it needed a structure to handle business aspects and became a project under the Oregon Nikkei Endowment organization (ONE). I was on the board of ONE (1992 – 2016) and agreed to also serve on the PT board (1994 – 2004). I knew little of taiko but was hooked with the first concert I attended – the enthusiasm, energy, talent, and smiles of pure joy were overwhelming, and it is a pleasure to return to the PT board in 2018. I am a retired primary school teacher and can hopefully bring some organizational and project experience to the board. My whole family, husband, two children and their spouses, and two grandchildren all enjoy taiko.

Winter Taiko Classes

Portland Taiko’s winter classes are ready to start with our Taiko 101 workshop, Introduction to Odaiko and Shime, and Beyond Basics. We’re excited to get you all drumming soon! Most of our classes are sold out, but there are spaces still available in our Introduction to Odaiko and Shime from 5:00 to 6:05 p.m. on Wednesdays. In the spring, we’ll be offering Taiko 101 (4/18), Power Taiko: HA! (4/25 to 6/6), and Beyond Basics (4/25 to 6/6). Registration will be open later this month!

Mochitsuki!

It’s a new year, which means Portland’s Mochitsuki is right around the corner! PORTLAND TAIKO will be performing in PSU’s Smith Ballroom on Sunday, January 28 at 1:30 p.m. We’ll share the stage with a great lineup of performers and hope to see you there! 
And if you are volunteer-minded, please consider joining the Mochitsuki volunteer team! Free admission to the event for all volunteers! For more information and to register, please visit: https://mochipdx.ivolunteer.com/2018

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 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.