JAPAN ARTS DAY CELEBRATION: ON ENSEMBLE - FREE SHOW May 21, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. Restoration Church
Established in 2002, On Ensemble is one of the most respected ensembles in the taiko world. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato (Maz) Baba, On Ensemble is recognized for infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with a wide range of musical influences from jazz and rock to central Asian overtone singing. Modern Drummer Magazine calls On Ensemble "an exciting taiko ensemble looking at new ways to apply traditional Japanese drums." On Ensemble was the first American taiko group to be invited to perform at the National Theater of Japan for the prestigious Nihon no Taiko concert series.
Shoji and Maz were taught taiko at an early age (eight and six) by Maz's parents, pioneering taiko players Jeanne Mercer and Russel Baba. Together with the other members of On Ensemble they combine their study and deep appreciation of Japanese traditional music with equally formative experiences as DJs, jazz musicians, electronic music producers, and rock bassists to produce, record and perform some of the most compelling and creative taiko music. The group has released three critically acclaimed albums, Dust and Sand, Ume in the Middle and Bizarre Heroes. Their music was also featured in the award-winning short film Yamasong.
Partial funding is from the Wyoming Community Foundation - Casper Area and Natrona County School District No. 1.