Happy New Year!

In most years, Soh Daiko members past and present would gather to celebrate the new year with a potluck feast and traditional mochitsuki, including pounding rice, shaping the mochi pieces, and singing our very own mochitsuki song. Unfortunately, we are still not able to hold this event due to COVID concerns. Instead, this year we invited former Soh Daiko members back to the dojo to share a day of reconnecting, sharing stories, and, of course, playing taiko! Everyone even got to take home mochi goody-bags, so we could have a taste of our previous tradition.

We were delighted to welcome back Soh Daiko members from its earliest days who helped shape our group and our repertoire. Together, we played some of our signature pieces, mixing current and former members in old and new positions in the piece, with former members jumping in for their iconic solos. We were even lucky enough to get some feedback from them on the current members’ performance!

Our trainees also got the opportunity to perform for our former members, receive advice, and learn more about Soh Daiko’s history and community. They even got to meet their Soh Daiko mentor’s mentor and experience their Soh Daiko “lineage”, shown in the photos below! With their review to become probationary members looming ahead, we hope this event was as inspiring and educational as it was fun.

A big thank you goes to all the former Soh Daiko members who joined us for such a special day. To all the former members who were not able to make it, we hope we will see you soon and be able to share a proper mochitsuki together!

To read more about how Soh Daiko does mochitsuki, check out our post from 2018.

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Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from Soh Daiko! We’re taking a few weeks off to celebrate with family and friends, but we’re grateful to have spent this fall in the dojo getting into shape, honing our skills, and working with our trainees.

These past few months we’ve continued to adapt to the current environment with masks and safety protocols, allowing us to keep ourselves healthy and rehearse in-person as a group. As a result, we have made great progress developing our members’ and trainees’ skills.

To mark our holiday break, we celebrated with our annual Bonenkai dinner in which Soh Daiko members exchanged gifts over a delicious feast. It’s important for us to take this time to appreciate each other and have fun outside of playing taiko–and what better way than through a hot meal and fun gifts!

Soon we’ll be back to fine-tuning our repertoire and getting ready for our spring performance season—follow us on social media or keep an eye out here for show announcements in the months to come!

Soh Daiko members after our Bonenkai celebration.
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A New Class of Trainees!

And that’s a wrap on our annual recruitment kick-off!

This month we hosted our annual recruitment workshops with two full days of drumming, sweating, learning, and fun. We welcomed a range of participants into our dojo, from beginners to those with taiko experience, and introduced them to the fundamentals of playing the Soh Daiko way. We’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who came out to play and learn from us this year–we hope you enjoyed our time together as much as we did!

We are excited to share our new class of trainees for the 2022-2023 season: , Suzhen, Charlotte, Lisa, and HanBin! Our new trainee class comes from across the NYC and New Jersey area and brings a diverse set of experiences, from collegiate and community taiko groups to musical studies. Over the next few months, they will join our rehearsals and learn our technique and repertoire.

Our 2022 class of trainees at their first rehearsal.

We’re looking forward to a great season ahead as we hone our skills, polish our repertoire, and shape our trainees into a new generation of Soh Daiko performers!

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Welcome, Jodi and Nick!

With our 2021-2022 season coming to an end, we are happy to announce our two newest performing members, Jodi Scharf and Nick Mechak! Both Jodi and Nick joined our trainee program last fall and have practiced and performed with us throughout the year. You may have seen them playing the in our signature pieces “Matsuri” and “Yuudachi”, drumming samba rhythms in master drummer Kenny Endo’s piece “Symmetrical Soundscapes”, and more!

Jodi has played taiko for four years and was previously a member of Gendo Taiko at Brown University. Jodi recently completed her masters degree in public health and currently works as a researcher in population mental health here in NYC. When she’s not playing taiko, Jodi enjoys cycling, hiking, and playing piano and trombone.

Nick is new to taiko, but has previously played Western-style percussion at UMass Amherst where he earned his degree in Music Composition. Outside of Soh Daiko, Nick owns and operates Sour Humanoid, an artisanal vinegar company specializing in unique flavors. You can follow Sour Humanoid on social media (@sourhumanoid) and can find his products online or in the NYC area!

We are excited to see Jodi and Nick grow as performing members in the years to come. Please join us in offering them your congratulations and full support!

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Celebrating Takashi Murakami!

Just when you thought we’d done enough last week… we also kicked off a party celebrating world-famous artist Takashi Murakami! His new exhibition at Gagosian in New York, “An Arrow Through History,” opened last week and features new paintings, work inspired by his CloneX NFT collaboration with RTFKT Studios, and work inspired by his Murakami Flower NFT project.

The party, which was produced by Bureau Betak and held at Brooklyn Navy Yard, began with an incredible combination of DJ Zack Bia and our very own taiko pieces! Between the lights, fog, and the custom scaffolding and platforms we were scattered across, our Asano Taiko US taiko gleamed as we drummed at our loudest. You can even find the below photos of Soh Daiko member Miyuki, and Soh Daiko members Alan and Tamiko pictured behind Murakami himself, featured in an article about the event by Vogue!

Thank you Takashi Murakami and Bureau Betak for inviting us to bring the power of taiko to this amazing event. We had so much fun playing and collaborating with you!

Yvonne Tnt/BFA.com
Yvonne Tnt/BFA.com
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Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

Last weekend, Soh Daiko members Jane and Anna performed with Post Malone on Saturday Night Live for the premiere of his new song “Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol,” featuring Fleet Foxes. Our two Asano odaiko drums looked incredible under the spotlights and fog, and our drummers did too!

Thank you Post Malone for this incredible opportunity. It was an honor performing with you and such talented musicians on such a beautiful new song, and we were grateful to represent taiko on a wide-reaching platform like SNL!

Watch the video here!

Post Malone performing on SNL with Soh Daiko members playing taiko.
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