“When the L.A. Phil canceled the Ford’s Summer 2020 season, we initially didn’t know how to proceed with our annual summer home concert,” says TaikoProject Executive Director Bryan Yamami. “but after discussion with our performers and supporters, we began moving forward with our first online performance.”
The evening will feature new and favorite taiko songs performed by TaikoProject and youth performing group Kitsune Taiko. TaikoProject has been captivating audiences since its founding in 2000, performing alongside such stars as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Usher, Jared Leto’s Thirty Seconds to Mars and John Legend. The group has performed on the Academy Awards, at the Grammys, on NBC’s “The Voice,” and Fox’s “The X-Factor,” and was featured in rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars’ epic “Up in the Air” music video, appearing with the band on “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
The concert also features guest koto, shamisen, and vocal artist Sumie Kaneko from New York. She brings a new musical dimension to TaikoProject’s concert with her virtuosity and creativity.
All of the performances were filmed individually by members of the ensemble in their own homes, adhering to Los Angeles and California stay-at-home orders. Artistic Director Masato Baba created audio guide tracks for songs and emailed them to the performers with instructions on how to play and film their performances. After each video was uploaded to a cloud drive, Yamami edited all the parts and individual videos together to create a complete song.
One song in particular, “66th Street,” is a new song composed by Kaneko that has never been performed together, as it was created in quarantine and only exists as a compiled video of individual performers.
To access the concert, go to www.youtube.com/taikoproject. The performance is free and is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs.