Join us next month for the return of the Maryland Heights International Festival!

2013 Celebrate the World performance

Free Performance in February

Join us next month as we return to Maryland Heights for the city's international festival! Originally known as "Celebrate the World," the international festival was last held in 2015 as construction of the new Maryland Heights Community Center was getting underway. Construction is complete, and the festival is making a comeback! Newly dubbed "WorldFest," the international festival continues to be a free event and offers food, art and music that represent many of the cultures that make the City of Maryland Heights a diverse community.
Above: Andrew performs Hachijou at the 2014 Celebrate the World festival. Photo by Michael Brakemeyer.

The international festival takes place on Sunday, February 24, kicking off at noon with a performance by Parkway Elementary students. Musical acts will continue throughout the afternoon and will include Irish and Indian traditional dances, a five-piece German band, Latin-inspired music, and taiko! A variety of foods and art will also be available for purchase, giving visitors the chance to sample many wonderful cultures in just one afternoon.

Thank you to Maryland Heights Cultural Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department, who are co-sponsoring the event - we are excited to take part in its return!

Maryland Heights WorldFest
Sunday, February 24, 2019 12:00 - 5:00 PM
Taiko Performance at 2:00 PM
Maryland Heights Community Center
2300 McKelvey Road
Maryland Heights, Missouri 63043


The Strike Institute Returns this Summer

We’re excited to share that the Strike Institute is now open for registration! Founded in 2009, the annual program invites middle and high school percussion students to learn, share and experience music through ensemble performance. In this week-long camp, students study with area percussionists and educators to develop drumming techniques and learn a variety of drumming styles from around the world, ranging from western drum kit to African and Asian drumming. Our very own Andrew Thalheimer will return to the Strike Institute to teach students the Japanese art of ensemble taiko.

This year’s camp takes place June 3-7, 2019 at Clayton High School in St. Louis County. Visit The Strike Institute for more information!
Performance of Mikoshi at the Focal Point

Song Profile: Mikoshi 

Traditional, arr. by H. Koinuma

Edo Mikoshi Bayashi Shichome, or simply "Mikoshi," is a performance piece derived from Edo Kotobuki Jishi - the shishimai, or lion dance of Old Tokyo.

Mikoshi at Missouri Botanical Garden 2017
Above: Jeremy teases a sleeping shishi (Hitomi Salini) at the 2017 Japanese Festival in St. Louis. Photo by Kevin Dingman.

An excellent example of the fusion of dance and taiko, the piece consists of one shishi dancer and three musicians playing taiko, atarigane (a small handheld gong), and shinobue (flute). It is a playful piece, where the musicians provide accompaniment as the shishi jumps and dances with catlike motions. While we perform Mikoshi throughout the year, the music for shishimai is especially common at New Year celebrations, where the shishi performs to bring good luck and fortune to participants.

Mikoshi performance at the Missouri History Museum


Upcoming Performances

We have a number of performances in the works for the coming spring season. Mark your calendars and celebrate the arrival of spring with us!

Sake and Sakura
Friday, April 5, 2019
Missouri Botanical Garden

A Celebration of Japanese Culture
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Missouri History Museum

SLAM Passport to Japan
Sunday, May 19, 2019
Saint Louis Art Museum
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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