The acclaimed Los Angeles-based taiko group On Ensemble announced ON ’07: Ukiyo, the ensemble’s fourth installment of their annual, self-produced concert series showcasing original compositions performed with Japanese drums, voice, world instruments and dance. The four-concert series will be held nightly at the historic Miles Playhouse in Santa Monica, from Thursday, June 28 to Sunday, July 1.
On Ensemble (Masato Baba, Kristofer Bergstrom and Shoji Kameda) will collaborate with Montreal-based percussionist Patrick Graham and New York-based fue (bamboo flute) specialist Kaoru Watanabe at ON ’07: UKIYO. Also making special appearances will be Japanese folk dancers Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe. The collaborations will create an extraordinary display of energy, combining folk dance with taiko in a powerful, invigorating performance sure to leave the audience breathless.
Thursday, June 28 to Saturday, June 30 starting at 8 PM
Sunday, July 1 at 3 PM
1130 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
About On Ensemble
With the powerful rhythms of ensemble taiko music at its foundation, the On Ensemble (pronounced "ohn") combines the musical and dance talents of its members into unique and provocative performances. As described in a CDBaby review, "On Ensemble beautifully combines folk, jazz and rock into a tightly-woven fabric making full use of acoustic potential before adding tasteful electronic colors." Modern Drummer magazine called On Ensemble "an exciting taiko ensemble looking at new ways to apply traditional Japanese drums."
In their 60 years of combined taiko experience, On Ensemble’s young musicians (Masato Baba, Kristofer Bergstrom, Shoji Kameda) have studied and performed with renowned masters of traditional and contemporary music and dance in the United States and Japan. With experience ranging from centuries- old Kabuki music to jazz, rock and electronica, On Ensemble have crafted a repertoire of ground-breaking taiko music.
In 2005 the ensemble released their first studio album "Dust and Sand" to critical acclaim. In 2006, the ensemble released their first DVD "Neiro" and are currently recording their second studio album.
The On Ensemble utilizes Japanese drums hand-made by Miyamoto Unosuke Shouten, instrument maker to the Emperor of Japan. Current works feature these drums in conjunction with the turntable, western drum kit, bamboo flute, koto (Japanese zither), and Tuvan overtone singing.
Ukiyo is an archaic Japanese word that refers to the floating world of the creative. It’s also associated with the famous Japanese wood block prints of edo era closely connected with the pleasures of theatres, restaurants, teahouses, geisha, and courtesans of old Tokyo.
Photo credit: Jason Lew.