Tsukasa Taiko (Japanese Drumming)


Tsukasa Taiko, a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest, offers taiko drum instruction, education, and performances.  Its mission is to preserve, develop, and pass on the traditional concepts of Japanese art as a cultural legacy, to instill an appreciation for artistic excellence, and to utilize these concepts in expanding and evolving the taiko art form.  As a community group dedicated to understanding and strengthening Japanese American, Asian American, and Japanese identity, it strives to respect tradition and develop artistic excellence and connoisseurship. Its director, teachers, and administrative staff are dedicated professionals and all are recognized as world class, working artists. As an active performing group, Tsukasa performs over fifty shows a year, both locally and internationally. Tsukasa Taiko offers classes, workshops, lectures, and demonstrations designed to teach how to play taiko, as well as to advance the understanding of how the cultural arts are a reflection of a community’s heritage and legacy.

More information on how to register for classes with Tsukasa Taiko can be found on their website. If you’d like to experience the art of taiko drumming in person, Tsukasa Taiko has numerous performances planned throughout the month of August in the Chicagoland area.

Tsukasa Taiko is led by prolific composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and performer, Tatsu Aoki.  One of the most recorded artists in the Chicago music scene, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, from traditional Japanese to jazz to experimental. Born into an artisan family before the downturn of traditional Japanese entertainment, Aoki carries with him the knowledge and self-imposed responsibility of preserving the original essence of that musical genre, while simultaneously expanding the voice of jazz, taiko and other musical forms. Aoki is a recipient of the Chicago Tribune’s “Chicagoan of the Year” award and recognized by Jazziz Magazine as one of the artists who “changed jazz,” among other accolades. For more information, please visit www.taikolegacy.com.

Job Posting: Asian Improv Arts Midwest. Seeks Visiting Instructor / Performer in Chicago (and other U.S. locations as needed)

Responsible for teaching classes that focus on Japanese cultural arts. Organize and administer traditional arts programs in Japanese classical dance and drumming. Responsible for assisting the operation of the cultural arts organization. Manage cultural arts programs and organize performances throughout the year. Establish clear objectives for all lessons and projects, and communicate those objectives to students. Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students’ varying needs and interests. This position involves teaching elementary school level children.

Requires a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Cultural Arts, or a related field, plus ten years of experience. Requires 6 years of experience in Japanese traditional drumming arts and 6 years of experience in performing with Japanese drumming ensembles. Requires fluency in reading, speaking and writing in Japanese. Requires knowledge of Japanese history, culture and social sciences. Requires knowledge of traditional Japanese costuming and the ability to organize curricula for students. Requires Travel to domestic performance sites as needed.

Must also have authority to work permanently in the U.S. Applicants who are interested in this position may apply online @ www.jobpostingtoday.com Ref # 30211.

Photo credit: Ken Carl

Tsukasa Taiko is a program of Asian Improv aRts Midwest and a resident at Japanese American Service Committee of Chicago and is supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council, the MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, Corbett, Duncan & Hubly pc, JCCC Foundation, CityArts by City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Cultural Grants Program and The Joyce Foundation.

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