On Saturday evening April 21, 2012 an amazing spectacle took place at the JCCNC gym on Sutter St. In Japantown. It was the 2012 San Francisco Taiko Festival.
Led by Grand Master Tanaka, San Francisco Taiko is the original taiko dojo that started the taiko revolution in the West over thirty years ago.
The SF taiko was also joined this year by youth drummers from GenRyu arts for a visual and rhythmic experience that was par none.
The concert began with an original composition by Grandmaster Tanaka called "Soto Bayashi" that celebrates the multi-cultural spirit of San Francisco. The evening continued with the SF dojo rising stars playing "Too many sides".
The Rising Stars represent the youth wing of SF Taiko Dojo and their performance was excellent. They literally played on all sides of a large compliment of drums with whirling dance moves. The evening continued with guest taiko performers GenRyu arts who played a number of compositions deeply rooted in Japanese tradition.
Another highlight was Grandmaster Tanaka playing the large cookie shaped Odaiko drum. Although advanced in age, Grandmaster Tanaka plays with vigor and strength and also compassion as his performance was dedicated to those who had been affected by the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
The evening concluded with Grandmaster Tanaka's signature piece "Tsunami" that is filled with robust drumming and a high energy stage presence.
The SF Taiko Dojo has a lot going for it: longevity, power, high energy, masterful drumming, and top quality performers. The SF Taiko hosts taiko festivals regularly. For more information, visit the SF taiko dojo website.