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!
It feels good to be back! This past weekend we returned to the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) as part of the Carnegie Hall Citywide concert series. Donning our signature red happi coats, we once again took to the LPAC stage for a full show of Soh Daiko classics.
Not only were we fortunate to have a few former Soh Daiko members return for this year’s performance, but we had our 2022 probationary members incorporated throughout. With everything from drumming parts to waving the Soh Daiko flags, our probationary members made their performing debut with spirit and poise, and we could not be more proud!
We started our day as we always do before a show—early and with an equipment van! Our drums, stands, and accessories were carefully packed for the drive to Queens, leaving room for plenty of time for tech rehearsal (and lunch!) at the theater.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the show. We were so grateful to see old friends, including the terrific stage crew at LPAC, and to meet new fans and potential future taiko players! For anyone who missed it, we hope you’ll come out to see us at Essex County’s Branch Brook Park, Randall’s Island, and more over the next few months. Check out our “Shows” page to see where we’ll be next, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates!
After two years of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become experts at pivoting to virtual rehearsals when it is unsafe for us to play together in person. And so, we came into 2022 without losing any momentum. While the omicron variant surged, we resumed Zoom rehearsals and video submission homework assignments, making sure that our members and trainees were healthy and not at risk.
We started the year with a virtual Soh Daiko celebration in place of our annual mochitsuki event. Former Soh Daiko members joined us on Zoom to catch up, share their wisdom with our trainees, and sing our mochitsuki song. Mochitsuki, a traditional New Year’s celebration, involves steaming rice, pounding it with a large mallet in a stone bowl (called the usu), and molding it into fresh mochi, complete with fillings and toppings. We hope that next year we will be able to celebrate in-person and make mochi together once again!
Our trainees, who we recruited in the fall, spent the past month preparing for their review to move to the next step in their training program: becoming probationary Soh Daiko members. Since October, they have persevered through learning new techniques, learning our repertoire, and several weeks of virtual rehearsals, and we are so proud of everything each of them was able to accomplish. We are excited to move forward with five new probationary members, who you will likely see them waving the Soh Daiko flags, playing accessory instruments, and drumming in our upcoming shows.
We are now back in the dojo and focused on gearing up for our spring performance season. After two years of cancelled events and virtual celebrations, we hope you are looking forward to the return of outdoor festivals as much as we are. Check back here soon for info on our upcoming performances–we hope to see you there!
After a full season of Zoom rehearsals, we are finally back in the dojo and kicking off a new performance season with new recruits!
Earlier this month we hosted two Public Recruitment Workshops in which participants got to hear a brief history of Japanese drumming and then were introduced the fundamentals of playing taiko through demonstrations and guided exercises. See below for some highlights from our two workshops!
Coming out of our recruitment workshops, we are excited to welcome seven new trainees into our 2021-2022 trainee class. Our new trainees bring a diverse set of experiences, with some who’ve played taiko before and others who learned for the first time at our workshops. Now they will be joining our rehearsals for the next few months to continue learning our technique and repertoire. We look forward to shaping our trainees into a new generation of Soh Daiko performers!