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From teaching classes to unique performances, it's been an eventful summer!

Joel, Jeremy, and Andrew join members of ZEROTaiko

Summer Fun in St. Louis

It’s been quite a summer! It began with a conversation with ZEROtaiko, a professional world percussion ensemble based in Orlando, Florida, who was preparing for a performance in our region. As arrangements were made to provide drums, we agreed to accompany them at the show! Musicians and dancers traveled to St. Louis from Los Angeles and Orlando, representing a variety of musical styles, including aerial drummers and hip hop, flamenco, and Bollywood dancers. Performing members Andrew, Jeremy, and Joel learned a piece written specifically for the show and performed at the event with members of ZEROtaiko, led by Atsumi (pictured above, right center). Jeremy notes, “It was kind of surreal sharing with a stage with so many professional performers from around the country, being directed by a choreographer with an impressive résumé.” Jeremy also noted how fun it was to learn he’d be performing with a drummer he’d seen at a recent trip to Epcot!

Summer also brings a new round of classes, and we have an enthusiastic group of adult beginning students this season! In addition, artistic director Andrew Thalheimer once again served as a guest instructor at the annual St. Louis Strike Institute to introduce middle school students to the basics of kumi-daiko, and several students are now continuing their practice at our studio.

Summer adult beginning class

Students from both classes are now working hard, learning pieces to perform before our evening shows at the upcoming Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden.

Of course, it hasn't been all work for our members. Over the July 4th holiday, we took a break from our practice schedule to host a picnic for our taiko friends and family. Several of our performing members, along with family and friends, got together for an afternoon of camaraderie, food, games, and of course, a little taiko! Now we are back in the studio, just in time for the upcoming Japanese Festival season. Check our website for details about the events! 

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Calling All Alumni!

Were you once a member of St. Louis Osuwa Taiko? We're starting an alumni association to stay in touch with our former performers, and to provide updates on group happening and events. Speaking of events, we're planning an Alumni Appreciation party in October so if you are an alumn and want to keep in touch, email alumni@stltaiko.com for more information.
Gezan Bayashi

Song Profile: Gezan Bayashi

Traditional Music

Gezan Bayashi is a traditional piece dating back to the 17th and 18th century in the Iwaki Mountain area of northern Japan. Around the time of the autumnal equinox, male villagers would make a pilgrimage to the summit of the mountain to pray for a good harvest. Following a purification ritual, the men would descend the mountain, dancing to the accompaniment of music. Our group learned Gezan Bayashi in 2012, when former members Jaci Lett and Laura Sexauer traveled to Japan for the KASA Mix tour to study with apprentices from renowned taiko group, Kodo.

Gezan Bayashi

Translated as "music for descending the mountain," Gezan Bayashi is the music that is played as the men return from their pilgrimage. Any variety of instruments may be used, but due to the nature of coming down the mountain, katsugi (drums carried with shoulder straps), fue (flute), and chappa (small hand-held cymbals) are very common. As they descend the mountain, the men cast away their usual composed demeanor and dance with great joy and humor, chanting "Ii yama kaketa, badara badara badara yo!" meaning "We rushed up the great mountain!" in celebration.
 

Upcoming Shows

Japanese Festival
Saturday, September 1 through Monday, September 3, 2018
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
 
Springfield Japanese Fall Festival
Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2018
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
Nathanael Greene / Close Memorial Garden
2400 Scenic Drive
Springfield, MO
 
Concert at the Focal Point
Friday, October 12, 2018 - 7:30 PM
The Focal Point
2710 Sutton Blvd.
Maplewood, MO
 
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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