This summer I had a wonderful opportunity to perform at ShastaYama Taiko Festival again since 2014. Last time I was here performing as part of Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. This time I performed with Taiko Trekkers, a group of individual taiko drummers from all over west coast. Bruce “Mui” Ghent was the spear head of this project. Along with my colleague Isaku Kageyama, Joe Small, and Heidi Chan, we led a 4-day Taiko Camping trip at Dos Rios, CA. Part of the camping experience was to arrange a piece for the group to perform at ShastaYama 2016. It was truly an amazing experience to work with these great group of people.
Hearing from some of the participants, a taiko camp is really a great way to bond with each other. Most importantly, since the instructors and participants all work together to prepare for the performance, many of them truly experience the high precision and standard that we, the instructors, bring in as professional taiko performers. Other than drumming, there were also plenty of memorable moments. As we did not have any internet, computers or even cell phone service for a week, we really get to enjoy the mother nature and also the companionship we gladly offered each other. Hopefully there will be more Taiko Trek in the future!