Next month, we travel to Memphis to perform at the annual Memphis Japan Fest, then return home for a show at the Saint Louis Art Museum in December. 

See you in Memphis!

Autumn is upon us, and the changing leaves are putting on a dazzling display of reds and golds throughout the Midwest. It’s the perfect time for a road trip; and it’s even better when that includes a festival!

We’re thrilled to be returning to Memphis, Tennessee for the annual Memphis Japan Festival next month. The full-day event is celebrating its fifth year and is filled with activities that honor the art, culture and foods of Japan. Join us Sunday, November 6th for a day of music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, as well as cosplay fashion shows. Visitors can also partake in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or a bonsai workshop. We will be performing at Opening Ceremony at 10:00 AM, with an afternoon show following on the main stage.

2021 Memphis Japan Fest

Can’t make it to Memphis? In December we return to the Saint Louis Art Museum for the 2022 Winter Celebrations. Enjoy music, dance, and crafts highlighting cultures and holiday traditions from around the world at this free event for the whole family! The event takes place December 10-11 and we will be performing during the afternoon Sunday, December 11.

2022 Memphis Japan Festival
Sunday, November 6 - 9:30am - 4:00pm
Memphis Botanic Garden
750 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN
Opening Ceremony - 10:00am
Performance - 12:55pm

2022 Winter Celebrations
Saturday - Sunday, December 10-11 - 10:00am - 4:00pm
Saint Louis Art Museum - Farrell Auditorium
1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, MO
Performance Time: Sunday, December 11 - 2:00pm*
*Performance time is approximate. Keep an eye on our event page for updates!

We’re thrilled to be back at both of these amazing venues; we hope to see you there!


Farewell, Lorraine!

Lorraine performs Drive at the Summer Concert Series in Tower Grove ParkWe're sad to announce that performing member Lorraine Hu is retiring from the group as she prepares to leave St. Louis. Lorraine joined in April while simultaneously completing her doctoral research in Anthropology, and has successfully defended her research. We're so proud of her accomplishments both as a performing member and in academia, and are saddened that she will be departing to continue her professional career.

We asked Lorraine to share her favorite SLOT moment: "Everything!" We will miss having her enthusiasm at our practices and performances, and we wish her all the best in this next chapter. Congratulations!

Spotlight on a Member

Meet Andrew (Akira) Hansen

So, what's the story behind your name?
My name is Andrew Marc Akira Hansen. When I was a kid, I thought Akira was such a cool middle name to have. There's a film by the same name that I happened to see at a very young age as a result of having the name. I was proud of it!  So when I lost my first name to an Oni (Artistic Director, Andrew Thalheimer) on a stormy audition night, it was an easy second choice.

Where did you first experience taiko and how did you get involved with the group?
Many, many years ago, maybe 20 some odd years, San Jose Taiko came to SIUE and my family went to see them. I had no expectations at all and was completely blown away. And then maybe around 2016 or so, my mom saw SLOT play at MoBot for JFest and heard the pitch for community classes and I decided to sign up for them! I've been taking them off and on since then, but it's only been within the past 2 years that things have lined up well enough for me to get more serious about it. 

Do you have a favorite taiko song? What do you like about it?
That's a super hard question to answer! There are so many different parts of songs that are so cool in different ways. I think my favorite part that I know is the Oodaiko in Matsuri, purely for the ending oroshi! Simple. Iconic. The song that I think about most is definitely Hanabi, but that's more because I can't play it the way I want to (yet)...more of an obsession than a favorite.

I also really like the songs with 'ka's that jump around between the players, and the big poses. So right now my favorite is a toss up between Hayate and Tsurugi no Mai.

In addition to learning a ton of new repertoire, you’re also learning to play fue. What inspired you to learn?
Besides the anxious misplaced need to be useful, there is an old bamboo flute in my family that I think would be really cool to learn how to play.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of taiko?
Besides gardening and hiking with my dog, my other major timesink is in roleplaying games like pathfinder or dungeons and dragons. I really enjoy the banter and problem solving!
We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
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10734 Trenton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63132
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St. Louis Osuwa Taiko · 10734 Trenton Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63132 · USA

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