San Jose Taiko live shows to have a good time fiftieth anniversary8 min read

Members of the San Jose Taiko carry out throughout San Jose’s annual Obon competition in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday, July 8, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Space Information Group)

San Jose Taiko has turn out to be such a staple in the neighborhood’s cultural cloth that because the group celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, it’s straightforward to take as a right the superb efficiency ensemble we’ve got proper in our yard.

The rhythmic beat of the taiko drums is a well-recognized sound not solely at festivals within the historic Japantown district however at occasions at Metropolis Corridor and all through town. These days, the thought of San Jose with out taiko could be like San Jose with out mariachis, fruit cocktail or microchips.

Fortuitously, San Jose will get an opportunity to point out its appreciation when San Jose Taiko performs its fiftieth Anniversary Live performance, with two reveals — a matinee and a night efficiency — on the majestic California Theatre downtown on Oct. 14.

The live shows will showcase new compositions and classics and embody a number of visitor artists, all reflecting taiko’s roots in Japanese and Asian American tradition. Franco Imperial, San Jose Taiko’s inventive director, stated the group is “humbled and excited” to achieve the milestone.

“This fiftieth Anniversary Live performance is a testomony to the dedication of our artists, employees, supporters, and the communities who’ve been our pillars of energy all through the years,” he stated.

San Jose Taiko traces its roots again to the early Nineteen Seventies when Rev. Hiroshi Abiko of San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin turned to Roy Hirabayashi, a church youth adviser then in his early 20s, to create a youth taiko group like one he’d seen in Los Angeles. With Dean Miyakusu, Hirabayashi raised cash for gear and the group had its first efficiency in October 1973.

In an interview with the American Folklife Heart on the Library of Congress in 2017, Hirabayashi stated the group’s creation additionally was very a lot tied into the Civil Rights motion of the Nineteen Sixties and the seek for identification that many Asian Individuals had been experiencing on the time.

“Once I found the taiko, the Japanese drum, I found or discovered that this was a voice that was lacking in my life, as a result of rising up there was no musical voice for me that basically linked to my heritage as a Japanese American,” stated Hirabayashi, who established San Jose Taiko as a nonprofit within the early Nineteen Eighties. Later that decade the group went on its first tour and began a junior taiko class.

As a efficiency group, San Jose Taiko advanced over time, sustaining its traditions whereas introducing new compositions and thrilling new collaborations with teams just like the Bangerz and Abhinaya Dance Firm. The group toured North America and in 1987 grew to become one of many first American taiko ensembles to be invited to carry out in Japan.

Government Director Roy Hirabayashi and Creative Director PJ Hirabayashi — who acquired the Cornerstone of the Arts Award from town of San Jose in 2016 — retired from their management positions in 2011, handing over the reins to present Government Director Wisa Uemura and Imperial, the inventive director. In fact, they’ve remained supporters and advocates for the group ever since.

Tickets for the live shows will be bought at for a steered ticket worth of $50 every. Guests ought to word that the two p.m. present is “COVID-cautious,” requiring proof of vaccination and that masks be worn contained in the theater.

FASHION FORWARD: The Bellarmine Moms’ Guild Style Present, a convention for practically 70 years, is returning to the Santa Clara Conference Heart on Oct. 21 after two years of holding the occasion on campus. Additionally returning to direct the present is Russ Marcel, a 1991 Bellarmine Faculty Prep grad and a longtime drama and English trainer on the boys Jesuit college in San Jose. The luncheon and dinner reveals, chaired by Jana Blastos, profit the varsity’s program for tuition help, which is utilized by 27 % of this 12 months’s college students. Get extra particulars at

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