Earlier this month, Soh Daiko drove up to Providence, Rhode Island for the return of the East Coast Taiko Conference. We taught workshops to taiko players from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels, and we performed one of our signature pieces, Yuudachi, in the star-studded final concert.
Hosted by Gendo Taiko of Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, the 2024 East Coast Taiko Conference marked the return of the conference since COVID-19, the last ECTC being February 2020 at University of Connecticut, as well as Gendo Taiko’s 20th Anniversary! Excitement was in the air as a whole new class of collegiate taiko players got to experience a gathering of east coast taiko players and guest artists, while community and former collegiate players returned to catch up with old friends and learn new skills.
Soh Daiko’s unique contribution to the weekend included workshops on “Playing as an Ensemble” and “Stage Presence”. We had three wonderful groups of participants who followed along carefully as we introduced them to Soh Daiko’s ways of musically supporting one another and adding professionalism to a performance. They then put their learnings to the test and demonstrated their own mini performances in small groups!
Over a dozen taiko professionals came from far and wide (as far as Japan!) to lead workshops and grace the stage for the final concert. We enjoyed catching up and spending time with all the other workshop instructors, as well as performing together in the encore jam in the final concert. Chieko Kojima even joined us for the drive up to Rhode Island, and following ECTC, Kenny Endo joined us back in New York for an amazing shime-daiko workshop! Everyone put on an incredible show, and the audience of taiko players brought an unbeatable energy.
Thank you to all the amazing performers who we shared the stage with, all the taiko players we shared the weekend with, and of course a big thank you goes to Gendo Taiko for pulling off a seamless conference. After a long wait, you did not disappoint. Congratulations on 20 years, Gendo Taiko!