tiako drums
Courtesy of Portland Taiko Ensemble


Portland Taiko Ensemble pounds out cultural beats

Your ears pounding and your heart pulsing with the beat, the energy of the Portland Taiko Ensemble cam make your skin sing.

The award-winning drumming ensemble, originally established in 1994 by combining music, comedy and dance, will make a Cheyenne appearance on Thursday, March 1.

Taiko: Japanese for drum

Originally, taiko started in ancient Japan. It is the Japanese word for the drum and the art form, and the Portland drummers have taken the traditional taiko and added contemporary elements of choreography and rhythm to take themselves and their audience to a new level of musical and artistic enjoyment.

The local appearance is made possible by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle through the Laramie County Community College Foundation.

This professionally established taiko group is the only company in the Pacific Northwest and has been honored through a variety of awards and honors from positive nationwide reviews to being named the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Composers Forum for representative for Oregon in Continental Harmony.

The Idaho Statesmen said: "It shakes your body to its core. It's layer upon layer upon layer of drumming and music and sound. The space will vibrate. The chairs will vibrate. You'll vibrate to your core. And, you'll want more."

Ensemble nationally honored

The ensemble has also been widely honored by its peers and the North American taiko community. It has also been honored in the traditional setting of Japan, where this art was originally created to define the margins of the villages, scare away any pests in the rice fields, alarm invading enemies, aid rumination in religious ceremonies, and bring the communities together in times of emergency and festivity. The group also offers a variety of workshops, performances and festivities.

Today, the Portland Taiko Ensemble continues to bring together the communities in both crisis and celebration through its outreach programs in the Portland and Oregon areas, where their mission includes three objectives: reinforce a sense of harmony and uniqueness throughout varied Asian-American communities, encompass the public in creating new show pieces as an answer, and share community pieces with other Asian-Americans, people of color, progressive populations and the larger public overall.

High school hosts performance

In concert, the group will show the culture and the fun that have followed taiko through decades of history into today. The 7 p.m. concert will be at Cheyenne South High School.

Now, the Cheyenne community will have the opportunity to experience this thrill of music and culture as more than 70,000 other have before them.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the LCCC Foundation at 307-778-1285 or online at http://www.lccc.wy.edu/ under the featured events section or at the door. Tickets cost $10 for students (K-college) and $15 for the public.

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Additional Links

Portland Taiko home page

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