On Friday morning, lower school students were treated to a visit by members of San Jose Taiko. Formed in 1973, San Jose Taiko is recognized as one of the world’s top ensembles in “taiko” (drum) performance, an art form with roots dating back to sixth century Japan. During the latter half of the 20th century, taiko performers introduced elements of other genres such as jazz and samba.
The musicians performed a selection of pieces from their repertoire and introduced students to some of the basic concepts they incorporate into their performances, including “ki,” spiritual energy that is often expelled through shouts known as “ki-ai.” San Jose Taiko’s Yurika Chiba demonstrated this by having the students yell “Sa!” in unison, to the delight of the SJT performers. They also demonstrated the different sounds they shout during performances to communicate the types of beats to be played.
Several students were offered the opportunity to play the taiko themselves, which they gladly accepted. Fellow students and faculty in attendance cheered enthusiastically at the students’ drum rolls!