The beginning of North American Taiko can be tied back to 1968, when Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka brought the art of kumidako (ensemble taiko) to North America. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of our artform in North America. In celebration of this momentous occasion, TCA is investing in programs and resources to ensure the art of taiko continues for another 50 years.
Projects like these cannot be created alone. We are in need of communication advocates, beta testers, and area experts to help with these efforts. If you’d like to stay updated with this initiative and hear about volunteer opportunities, please sign up at the link below.
50th Anniversary Time Capsule
We will soon be soliciting contributions to a time capsule that commemorates and preserves community and group histories of the last 50 years of taiko. The hope is that this time capsule will be opened in 2043 on the 75th anniversary of taiko in North America, and that more materials are contributed over time.
Taiko Community Calendar
The Community Calendar will be a tool for posting taiko-related events to one centralized location, allowing members of the taiko community and general public alike to easily share, discover, and learn about upcoming events. This may include, but is not limited to: performances, workshops, festivals, conferences, and any other happenings within the taiko community. Visitors to the site will not only be able to search for various types of events based on location and date, but will also be able to create their own user accounts and add their own events to the search index. Along with an account, users can bookmark events that interest them and manage any existing event listings they have created.
This tool is not meant to replace current popular event-sharing platforms (e.g., Facebook events, ticketing platforms, etc.), but rather provide a space to easily locate and then navigate to those external links for more specific information, if needed. Ideally, The Community Calendar will allow individual artists and groups to engage the community as a whole in their artistic endeavors, while also assisting in furthering the art of taiko by making events more discoverable by the public
Taiko Then Project
The Taiko Then Project will celebrate the history of the North American taiko community while also working to collect and preserve the materials – audio/video and print – that document that history. By collecting and preserving materials that demonstrate the history of taiko in North America, we will take steps towards the creation of an archive about the history of the art form which will also highlight the efforts of those individuals that made that history possible.
The Origins Project
The Origins Project aims to create a centralized compendium of historical knowledge related to how our community has grown into what it is today. Ranging from pioneer groups to new groups, this project will drive the collection of information directly from the sources and will in turn allow for the creation of a taiko group directory that provides not only general contact information, but also the stories of how taiko groups were founded, how they have grown, and who we are today as a community.
In this project, we will bring together a three-person composition team to compose an open-source song celebrating 50 Years of Taiko in North America. This team will be made up of three players representing the “next generation” of each of the three Pioneer groups; they will take artistic inspiration from musical ideas and styles from the original founding members of those groups, as well as other sources. The 2016 Taiko Census revealed enormous demand in the taiko community for excellent open source pieces and resources to learn them. This project honors the legacy, generosity, and hard work of Taiko Pioneers, furthers the development of a new generation of taiko artists, and directly targets a need expressed by TCA’s constituents, all as a celebration of 50 years of taiko in North America. The final scope and timing of this project are subject to additional funding, but this is this current project plan.
The song created will honor original Pioneer voices and the current generation of taiko artists. The piece will debut in 2019 and be shared with the larger community, with groups invited to incorporate the song into their regular performing repertoire, adding their own flavor.
The Local Communities project aims to fulfill TCA’s mission by directly empowering and advancing the art of taiko through increasing channels of communication between local regional taiko groups across the country. 50 years ago, the taiko community started with 3 groups and 20 years ago the taiko community was brought together by NATC. Now with the artform spreading, there is a need to bring taiko groups back together to see the value of community and sharing – the concepts in which the taiko community was built upon. We are committing to hosting 3 community gatherings in areas across the country to bring taiko groups closer together.