Join us on Saturday, March 25th as we take the stage for one of our biggest events of the season! We’re once again returning to the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center as part of Carnegie Hall Citywide, a concert series bringing live music to the five boroughs.
For many years, we’ve packed up our equipment, made the trip to Queens, and performed for friends, family, and fans from the neighborhood, and we can’t wait to do it again. The show will be full of Soh Daiko classics plus some new surprises, and you can expect to see our new probationary members helping out on stage too!
Tickets are FREE but they go fast, so reserve yours today. We hope to see you there–and be sure to stick around to meet the Soh Daiko members in the lobby after the show!
Moving from trainees to probationary members is no easy feat, and we’re excited to have two new trainees make this step: Charlotte and HanBin! After months of attending weekly Soh Daiko rehearsals, our additional weekly trainee hour, and working with mentors, the two of them demonstrated their progress for us in their probationary membership review and made it through. A special mention goes to our third trainee, Lisa, who has also been working hard but whose review will happen at a later date due to an unexpected injury. We wish you a speedy recovery, Lisa!
Over the next several months, our new probationary members will continue their training as we ramp up for our spring performance season. We hope you will join us in wishing them luck, and be sure to keep an eye out at our upcoming shows–you may see our probationary members playing with us on stage!
Jeffrey B. Perry was an independent working class scholar, social activist, and author from the New Jersey/New York area who passed away last fall. Over the weekend, Soh Daiko opened up the celebration of Jeffrey B. Perry’s life with a short performance.
Perry’s primary work centered on the biographies of Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen, two key thinkers in the civil rights movement. For 50 years, Perry was committed to the fight for social justice in anti-racism, labor, anti-apartheid, anti-imperialist, and anti-war movements.
You can watch the recording of the Celebration of the Life and Work of Jeffrey B. Perry’s below.
Several former Soh Daiko members had the privilege of knowing Perry through their activism work. In the 1980’s, former Soh Daiko members Peter Wong and Legan Wong even played with Perry on the Ronins, a softball team in a league that was started by members of the 442nd Regiment of World War II. The 442nd Regiment was a segregated infantry regiment made up of Japanese American soldiers, many of whom had families in U.S. internment camps, and became known as the most decorated regiment in U.S. history.
The Ronins were a diverse team comprising many activists of the time, including Bill and Eddie Kochiyama (husband and son of Yuri Kochiyama), Eddie Lai (a founder of the Museum of Chinese in America), and Greg Morazumi (a longtime NYC activist), in addition to Perry and the Soh Daiko alums. The below photo shows them and the rest of their team, plus a few guests, including renowned civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama herself!
We were honored to have been included in the memorial for such an admirable figure in the fight for the rights of all. Our thoughts are with the family, friends, and all who knew Perry during this time.
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.