TAIKOPROJECT Blends Old and New in ‘Rhythmic Relations 2012’

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Members of TAIKOPROJECT perform at KQED's 2011 "Local Heroes" event. (Photo by Alan Miyatake/Toyo Miyatake Studio)

The best of taiko composed from the U.S. and abroad is featured in TAIKOPROJECT’s all-new “Rhythmic Relations 2012: The Remix Show,” to be held Saturday, June 30, at 8 p.m. at the famed Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood.

Joining in the first half of the concert are drumming groups Kitsune Taiko, Loma Pacific Taiko, and L.A.’s newest youth group, Tanuki Taiko, in an exuberant program that features more than 50 taiko drummers. With some of the largest drums in Southern California, the program also highlights the unique sounds of the koto, custom-made marimbas, the udu clay pot drum, and a brand-new handcrafted tank drum.

Since its founding in 2000, TAIKOPROJECT has been dazzling audiences with its unique contemporary blend of taiko with storytelling, music, and choreography. Winner of the top award at the fourth annual Tokyo International Taiko Contest, the group has also performed around the world in such places as Hong Kong, Dubai, the U.K., and Mexico. TAIKOPROJECT has been featured in everything from commercials to television shows to awards shows, performing alongside such musical superstars as Stevie Wonder, Usher, John Legend and Justin Bieber.

On April 30, TAIKOPROJECT was honored by the nation’s pre-eminent Asian American theater, East West Players, with the Visionary Award at its 46th annual gala dinner in Universal City.

Now in its fifth year, “Rhythmic Relations,” TAIKOPROJECT’s annual taiko extravaganza, comes with an innovative new twist by offering its own remixed versions of traditional taiko compositions performed by such celebrated groups as San Jose Taiko, Stanford Taiko, and the U.K.’s Kagemusha Taiko. TAIKOPROJECT Managing Director Bryan Yamami notes that the remixed versions come with the blessings of composers Oliver Kirby, Hiroshi Tanaka, Toni Yagami and Janet Koike, who agreed to share their work as it takes on a TAIKOPROJECT spin.

“It’s certain to be a memorable evening of classic taiko combined with our own unconventional style — taking taiko to its artistic limits and beyond,” says Yamami.

Tickets prices start at $20-$25, $15 for full-time students with ID, and $12 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or (323) 461-3673 (for non-visual media, 323-GO-1-FORD). For groups of eight or more, call (323) 769-2147.

The Ford Amphitheatre is located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, just off the Hollywood Freeway, across from the Hollywood Bowl and south of Universal Studios. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on-site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink. The Ford is disabled-accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request.

On-site stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows. Free non-stacked parking is serviced by a free shuttle to the Ford available at the University City Metro Station lot at Lankershim and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the “kiss and ride” area.

The event is part of the Ford Amphitheatre 2012 Season, a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles-based arts organizations. For a complete season schedule, directions to the theater and parking information, log on to www.FordTheatres.org.

More information about “Rhythmic Relations 2012” is available at www.taikoproject.com or by calling (213) 268-4011. You can become a BaseBeat sponsor with an additional contribution and become eligible for priority seating as well as additional gifts.

The program is made possible in part by grants from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, Union Bank, and 2012 BaseBeat Donors.

For more information and tickets, click here.

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