TaikoProject, Ryutaro Kaneko to Appear April 19 at LACMA

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America’s leading taiko drummers and one of Japan’s true taiko legends converge to create a heart-thumping drum spectacular when TaikoProject brings the show “LifeRhythm” to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Bing Theatre on April 19.

Former Kodo artistic director Ryutaro Kaneko. (Courtesy TaikoProject)

Former Kodo artistic director Ryutaro Kaneko. (Courtesy TaikoProject)

Since its founding in 2000, Taiko­Project has been dazzling audiences with its unique contemporary blend of taiko with storytelling, music and choreography.

“LifeRhythm,” the group’s sev­enth annual taiko extravaganza, comes with an innovative new twist: a full evening collaborative concert with former Kodo artistic director Ryutaro Kaneko. Kaneko is known for leading Kodo, the world’s pre­mier taiko ensemble, during its active tours in the 1990s, and is currently one of the most sought-after taiko artists in Japan.

In 2010, TaikoProject received a $10,000 grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cul­tural Affairs’ Creative Exchange International program to begin col­laborating with Kaneko, and the result was a concert in which the first half featured TaikoProject’s student groups, and the second half featured Kaneko.

In 2013, TaikoProject received another $10,000 grant from The Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Japan program to complete the full collaborative program, and the result will be a truly unique experience, blending the sublime solo artistry of Kaneko with the undeniable energy of TaikoProject.

“It’s certain to be a fantastic eve­ning, taking taiko to its artistic limits and beyond,” says Bryan Yamami, TaikoProject’s managing director.

Winner of the top award at the 4th annual Tokyo International Taiko Contest, TaikoProject has performed around the world in such places as Hong Kong, Dubai, the U.K. and Mexico, and has been featured in everything from commercials to television shows to awards shows, performing alongside such musical superstars as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend and Justin Bieber.

“LifeRhythm” takes place Satur­day, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. Reserved seating is $25; LACMA members and seniors (62+) with ID pay only $18. Tickets are available at www.lacma.org or by calling (323) 857- 6010.

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