BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts and the University at
Buffalo's Asian Studies Program will present "Explosive Beats:
Japanese Taiko Drumming" on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. The performance
will be held in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on
the UB North (Amherst) Campus. The event is also sponsored by the
Office of Student Life and the Office of the Vice Provost of
Taiko is a drumming style of Japanese origin. A Taiko is a drum
made from an open-ended wooden barrel with animal skin stretched
over both ends and it is played with two bachi (wooden sticks).
While various Taiko drums have been used in Japan for more than
1,400 years, and possibly much longer, the style of Taiko best
known today has a relatively short history, beginning in the 1950s.
Borrowing on more than 1,000 years of tradition, Taiko players are
now taking the style worldwide.
The performance will feature two leading Taiko drummers: Takumi
Kato and Ryo Shiobara.
Kato began as a professional drummer in the United States in
2001 and from 2004 to 2006 received further professional training
from Kodo, one of Japan's leading Taiko groups. In 2006 he
relocated to Los Angeles and has given many concerts in that area.
At the end of 2006 he attracted an audience of more than 8,000
people at a performance in the Taiko Festival at the Saitama Super
Arena in Japan.
Shiobara was the grand prix winner at the 6th Tokyo
International Taiko Contest in August 2007. He made his
professional Taiko drummer debut in 1999 after spending 13 years in
a regional performing arts group. He has won many awards in
national and international Taiko drumming competitions and has
traveled the world, performing in countries such as the United
States, Hungary and Taiwan.
Tickets for "Explosive Beats: Japanese Taiko Drumming" are $15
general admission and $10 for students. Tickets are available from
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center for the Arts
Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations, including
ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call
1-416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more
information, call 645-ARTS. Students (of any school) must present
valid student ID at the Center Box Office to receive discount.