International Taiko Festival Next Weekend at YBCA

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San Francisco Taiko Dojo performing at the Nihonmachi Street Fair in 2010. (Photo by J.K. Yamamoto)

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Taiko Dojo will present the 2012 International Taiko Festival on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Lam Research Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St. (at 3rd Street), San Francisco.

Evening shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinee is on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The lineup for the evening shows includes San Francisco Taiko Dojo and its founder, Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka; San Francisco Taiko Dojo Rising Stars; Tiffany Tamaribuchi; Dance Brigade (Friday); Sacramento Taiko Dan (Saturday); and Aoi Yamaguchi.

Special guests from Japan: Wako Daiko. Based in Wako City, Saitama Prefecture, this group is trained in the Sukeroku style — an ancient festival style from Tokyo that was modernized in the 1950s — and has performed throughout Japan and around the world.

The lineup for Saturday afternoon: SFTD Junior Rising Stars; Grass Valley Taiko; Maikaze Taiko; Cal Raijin Taiko; UC Davis Bakhatsu Taiko Dan; and Ensohza.

The SFTD Rising Stars are a group of teenagers and young adults who have grown up studying and performing taiko together under Tanaka Sensei, learning to respect each other as well as taiko. They have performed in Japan, Rhode Island, Indiana, Chicago, Hawaii, New York, and across the United States, and are considered one of the finest taiko youth groups in the country, and the most disciplined and traditionally trained taiko youth group in the world.

Tickets are $32 and $38 for evening shows, $25 for the matinee. For reservations, call YBCA at (415) 978-2787. For more information, call (415) 928-2456, go online www.sftaiko.com or visit the SFTD Showroom in San Francisco’s Japan Center (bridge over Webster Street between the West Mall and the Kinokuniya Building).

Wako Daiko with San Francisco Taiko Dojo’s Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka (center).

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