Japanese Taiko drummers to perform with Mercer Island High School percussionists

February 25, 2019 | by Erin Sirianni

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An exciting performance is in store for the Mercer Island community. “CHIKIRI,” featuring Ringtaro, Asako and Sohshun Tateishi, will perform Japanese Taiko drumming at the Mercer Island High School’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, March 6th, from 7 to 8 pm.

This performance is the capstone of an eight-week artist-in-residence program for percussion students at the high school. The performance will include the MIHS Wind Ensemble percussionists playing “SHOGUN”, the MIHS Percussion Ensemble playing two Taiko pieces arranged especially for the ensemble, and a special 30-minute performance by the CHIKIRI and performing members of The School of Taiko, which Ringtaro has been teaching.

Taiko drumming is a mixture of activities including music, physical exercise, and cultural experience combined to express human energy as performing arts.

“Our time with Ringtaro and Asako has been very focused, valuable and exciting, and will lead us to a fantastic performance” said Parker Bixby, Director of Bands at Mercer island Schools in a press release.

Ringtaro Tateishi has over 10 years of experience performing in 26 countries with the world-renowned Taiko troupe Ondekoza, including concerts in Carnegie Hall. After leaving Ondekoza, he performed daily at the Epcot center for seven years before coming to Seattle. (Learn more at https://www.japancreativearts.com/)

CHIKIRI means a butterfly joint used in woodworking to hold two pieces of wood together.  Similarly, this group’s performances joins people, artists, and cultures together from all over the world through the music.

The artist-in-residence program has been made possible by a grant from the Mercer Island Schools Band Boosters. Admission is $5.00 per person.

[Images courtesy Japanese Creative Arts]