Taiko Thursday! Join us for Japanese Drumming at the Farmers’ Market!

IMAG0770smOn Thursday, September 4th 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 for the last 2 years, is provided by the West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts (WCC-MA.org) and through a 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. In between those performances will be workshops allowing passerby 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 September the Claremont 250th Celebration (claremont250.com) will offer a 3-day residency by Burlington Taiko for the community. Students and Adults from the greater Claremont region will participate, and the residency ends with a hugely popular outdoor performance during the Birthday in the Bricks on September 20th by the participants. Participants will learn and perform a piece of taiko music, and will have the opportunity to see a performance by members of the 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 the 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.

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