SAN JOSE TAIKO 50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
EXCITEMENT COMING UP WHEN TAIKO DRUMS ROLL OCTOBER 14
BY GERRYE WONG OCTOBER 12, 2023
I may be a little biased and overly excited about the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration concert the San Jose Taiko group will be presenting this coming Saturday at the beautiful downtown California Theatre. My reason is because grandson Braden Wong will be performing as the youngest and newest member of the SJT troupe. To accommodate their many loyal supporters, there will be two performances so that this celebration for San Jose supporters and the Japanese community it is based in can come and enjoy the artistry of its players. Come celebrate with them.
San Jose Taiko’s 50th Anniversary concert called, “50 and Beyond” will bring life to San Jose on Saturday, October 14 at San Jose’s downtown California Theatre.Two performances will be at 2pm and 7:30 pm. The Taiko performances will feature a medley of San Jose Taiko songs, from the past and present. Some classics are timeless and some are newer favorites. At the concert, SJ Taiko spokesman said, “As always we will tell our story and the story of Japanese/Asian Americans in Silicon Valley” through their music. This event was 50 years in the making. My grandson, Braden Wong enthusiastically explained that this 50 year celebration is very meaningful to think that visionaries 50 years ago started this small class, which has drawn thousands of participants and spectators enjoying their performances.
San Jose Taiko members are more than performers for they contribute to the longevity of the organization. Each member dedicates 5-15 hours each week to rehearse, perform and teach many SJT’s workshops and classes. As Executive Director Wisa Uemura and Artistic Director Franco Imperial have maintained, “The awards and recognition given to San Jose Taiko is shared with all performing members, past and present. As SJT celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023, we are so very grateful to all performing members who have come before to make our path easier.” Four principles guide San Jose Taiko’s pursuit of the young art form the ensemble helped define. As only the third taiko group to form outside of Japan at one time, the San Jose Taiko founding members studied with the few ensembles who preceded them. The four principles followed are attitude, kata, musical technique and Ki, which SJT defines the latter as “the life force energy that connects all things.”
When I saw SJT Founder with husband Roy, PJ Hirabayashi, the other day, we reminisced that I probably wrote the first story about SJ Taiko over 40 years ago when they were first emerging into the community. She told me, “It was a big struggle for Roy and me when it was first formed and started, but seeing how its performances have brought smiles and admiration for the art from so many in the community for the past 50 years, I can honestly say it was all worth it with the wonderful results we see it has evolved from.”
For concert tickets for either performance check TAIKO.ORG/50TH 408 293 9344 They also note an invitation to “Party with us between shows at 50th ANNIVERSARY BASh”
Sound like fun???? Hope to see you there!