Join us for Taiko Thursday at the Claremont Farmers’ Market!

IMAG0770smOn Thursday, September 5th, the Burlington Taiko Group will be performing and leading a free workshop at the Claremont Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market from 4-7pm at Broad St Park, as part of the First Thursdays Music Series. This event, a big hit last year, is provided by the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts (WCC-MA.org) and in collaboration with the Claremont Farmers’ Market Association and Claremont Parks and Recreation. This program is made possible in part through a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA.org). All ages are welcome to participate. Throughout the afternoon there will be taiko (Japanese drumming) performances by Stuart Paton, founder and Artistic Director of Burlington Taiko, and another member of the group. In between those performances will be workshops allowing passersby to grab some taiko sticks and join in the drumming. There is no cost for this program, but those wishing to help support the program can make a donation at the event. In the event of rain, please check wcc-ma.org or claremontfarmersmarket.com for rain location and times.

Later in the fall a five-day residency by Burlington Taiko will be offered in-school and after school to youth in the community. Students from the greater Claremont region will participate, and the residency ends with a hugely popular outdoor performance by the participants. Students will learn and perform a piece of taiko music, and will have the opportunity to see a performance by a five-piece Burlington Taiko Group ensemble.

What is taiko? “Taiko” means “drum” in Japanese, and can be any kind of drum. Outside of Japan, when we talk about taiko we are referring to the tradition of Japanese taiko drumming. This type of drumming includes not just rhythm, but also other movements, and can be a very physical activity. For more information on this program, or to sign up to participate, please contact melissa@wcc-ma.org.

Since 1987, Burlington Taiko has been mesmerizing audiences with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the taiko. Burlington Taiko Group estimates it has introduced over half a million people to the power of taiko via public performances including feature performances at the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, annual performances at Burlington’s First Night, the Joseph Campbell – Keepers of the Lore festival, the Black Ships Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, and over 200 corporate, collegiate and public performances. Stuart Paton, Founder and Artistic Director of Burlington Taiko, spent most of his childhood in Japan, from age nine months through eighteen years. His earliest exposure to taiko included a first-grade fascination with the drums at an Obon celebration in Tokyo, and learning “Matsuri Daiko” from the composer of the score for his high school drama production. His formal study of taiko began in 1984 during a summer apprenticeship with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, the founder of the first taiko group in North America (San Francisco Taiko Dojo), and he founded the Burlington Taiko Group in 1986 not long after settling in Vermont.

The West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts began in 2008 as the Summer Concert Series at Union Church. Since then the organization has expanded to include not only music, but also other arts, among them visual and culinary arts. WCCMA’s mission is to bring professional music and arts experiences, diverse musicians, and educational opportunity to the underserved and low-income community of Claremont, NH and the wider region. They are committed to offering performances and workshops without charge, enabling everyone in the community to access the arts and their benefits. This year the WCCMA and the Claremont Farmers’ Market Association teamed up to provide special music at the First Thursdays Music Series. The Claremont Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market is open weekly from 4-7pm through September at Broad St Park. The Market boasts a rotation of nearly 30 vendors overall (usually 15 – 20 per week), meaning you can see something new each week alongside your favorite regular vendors. Stop by for produce, prepared food, baked goods, honey, beef, soap, jewelry, sewn goods, and more!

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