High-energy taiko songs and melodic taiko fusion converge to create a bass-pounding drum spectacular when TaikoProject brings “Rhythmic Relations 2015” to UCLA’s Freud Playhouse on Saturday, June 27.
Since its founding in 2000, TaikoProject has been dazzling audiences with its unique contemporary blend of taiko with music and choreography. “Rhythmic Relations 2015,” the group’s ninth annual taiko extravaganza, celebrates the release of their new CD, entitled “Our Many Sides.” Blending taiko with marimba, bamboo flute, melodic tank drum, udu (clay pot drum), and voice, TaikoProject is creating a new, innovative American taiko sound.
The first half of the concert will feature Bombu Taiko and Kitsune Taiko in an exuberant program that includes more than 50 taiko drummers. In the second half, TaikoProject performs all of the songs featured on “Our Many Sides.”
TaikoProject Artistic Director Masato Baba spearheaded the production of the new CD and is considered one of the next-generation leaders in the American taiko community.
“It’s certain to be an unforgettable evening, exploring new creative ground in taiko that is rarely seen,” says Baba.
Winner of the top award at the fourth annual Tokyo International Taiko Contest, TaikoProject has 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, Alicia Keys, Usher, John Legend and Justin Bieber.
Most recently, they were featured in rock band 30 Seconds to Mars’ music video “Up in the Air,” and in Sean Paul’s “Come on to Me” music video (with over 28 million views each) and were the recipients of major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Japan Foundation.
There will be two shows, at 3 p.m. and 8 pm. Reserved seating is $25. Tickets are available at www.tickets.ucla.edu or (310) 825-2101.