Tiara Zhan'e Hernandez Photo by Tiara Zhan'e Hernandez. The Taikoza performing.
It was powered by members of a popular group who started the renaissance of taiko in Japan. In translation, taiko means big drum, which makes sense once you see this group of talented musicians and performers light up the stage with their large 170 pound drums.
With Hazleton weather at an outstanding nine degrees, Taikoza opened up with a piece about the month of May, with the hopes to "bring Hazleton some warm weather."
Between sets, the drummers took a moment to briefly share the background and history of the pieces they were performing for the crowd.
Taikoza drummer, Marco Lienhard, informed the audience of the many May festivals that take place in Japan each year. One is called Aoi Matsuri, which includes some 500 people dressed in ancient costumes and make-up parading through the streets of Kyoto, Japan.
Aside from its large (and small) drums, the group also incorporated other Japanese instruments. They included the Shakuhachi, which resembles a traditional flute except this particular one is one foot and eight inches long. The Shakuhachi has four holes in the front and one in the back. In order to change the sound, the musician must alter the angle in which (s)he is holding the instrument.
Once the group was warmed up and got “in the zone,” they began to interact with crowd, handing some of the younger audience members their drum- sticks, letting them be a part of Taikoza for a while. The show also included pieces that are often used in Japan for meditation and to call and celebrate the gods.
For more information about Taikoza please visit their website, http://www.taikoza.com.
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