Entries in raion taiko (11)


GLTC 8th Annual Concert: Dream 夢 on June 10th 2018 @The Berman

Dream 夢 2018

GLTC 8th Annual Concert & Showcase

June 10th SUN 4:00pm

Doors open 3:30pm @The Berman


Join us as we celebrate our Dream of sharing the art and joy of taiko in the Midwest. Whether you are a taiko enthusiast or just curious to see Japanese taiko drumming for the first time, you are sure to enjoy the wonderful spirit of our Taiko Center students and the amazing artistry of our performing groups.

Our 8th Annual Concert showcases the GLTC 2017-2018 youth and adult students (from Tiny Tots to Advanced Taiko classes) and also features our performing groups, the popular Godaiko Drummers student team and the professional Raion Taiko Ensemble. Our new venue this year is The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield Township. Tickets are available through The Berman online box office or by contacting GLTC for pickup in Novi, Michigan. [Advance tickets are $20/adult and $15/youth (12 & under); +$5 at the door.]


> Link to TheBerman.org for venue info & tickets

> Link to our Facebook event! www.facebook.org/greatlakestaiko



Taiko at the World Series - Detroit Tigers


At the Taiko Center, we have had a few opportunities to perform outdoors in downtown Detroit. It is always a unique and fun experience to be surrounded by the big buildings, a lot of people and to hear the deep sounds of taiko drums echoing around the city.

So when the Detroit Tigers made the playoffs last month, I decided that if they could make it to the World Series, the Taiko Center would pack up the drums, go down to the game and cheer on the Tigers from the streets.

Once they punched their ticket to the World Series, through the connections of one of our students, we were able to get a spot right along Woodward in front of Comerica Park. We arrived on site at 5 PM, set up the drums and started playing on and off up until the game began around 8 PM. Once the sun went down it was pretty cold, so we kept playing from time to time to stay warm. Many people stopped to listen on their way to the game, took pictures, videos, stoped to chat and so on. Many people looked happy to see us. I hope we brought some joy to everyone who was down in the city.


Unfortunately, the Tigers lost that night and went on to get swept by the Giants the following day. We still enjoyed performing and since the Tigers are favored to get back to the World Series in 2013, we may just have to plan on heading down again.

See more pictures at our Facebook Page.



Four (actually five) Taiko Concerts in Two Weeks!

Raion Taiko at the DIA - Friday Night Live

It's finally August! Actually, finally is probably not the best word since July really flew by. It was perhaps our busiest month yet, the past two weeks being the most intense. After our performance at the Concert of Colors, we had two more that week - one in Battle Creek and the next at the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts (pictured above).

Our DIA performance was actually rescheduled from May (also a busy month). We had planned to to perform outside, but as we approached our scheduled performance date, it looked more and more like it was going to rain. A day or two before the performance, a last minute replacement was found and we postponed our performance until July, when it was less likely to rain. 

Funny how things can be ironic. As it turned out, on the day in May that we were originally booked for it did not rain. In fact, it was a beautiful evening, if I recall. And, you guessed it, July 22 turned out to be a fairly wet day. As we were driving down, it started pouring rain. Obviously, the rain let up in time for us to perform, but there was a point where a few sprinkles started during the show, but not enough to cancel. (Nothing like this video - rain starts around 2 min)

The following week we only had one performance at a library near Grand Rapids, but the week before we held our first Kids Summer Taiko Week each afternoon. We had a great time with two classes with kids aged 4 - 12 years. Altogether, we had 12 kids. To end the kids summer course, we held a mini-recital at Guernsey Farms Dairy on the lawn.

There was a good crowd on hand for the performance with many family and friends. After the performance, there was, of course...

... Ice Cream for all!


Raion Taiko at Detroit Concert of Colors 2011


Yesterday Raion Taiko reached a major milestone (in my mind, at least) when we performed on the stage of Detroit's Orchestra Hall as a part of the 2011 Concert of Colors.  What a privilege and honor to be a featured performer at such a wonderful hall, one of the top 3 halls acoustically in North America. When Mayumi and I first formed Raion Taiko back in 2005, I never dreamed that we would make it to Orchestra Hall.

Orchestra Hall is the home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and has hosted many national and international acts, which is evidenced by all the signatures on the backstage walls. Including one that we were especially delighted to discover yesterday ...

When I was in high school, I played violin in the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra and we rehearsed at Orchestra Hall every Saturday, so I was well aware of the hall's acoustic qualities and it's reputation. As we were setting up and preparing for our set, I stepped out into the audience to check the placement of the drums and I looked up and around at the hall and for a minute a wave of emotion washed over me as it sunk in that we were actually on the stage at Orchestra Hall.

The hall certainly lived up to its acoustic reputation. As a result, I think we were able to give one of our best performances yet.  It was hard to see very far out into the audience, but the response was good and I noticed several people in the front row who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves with big smiles on their faces. My cousin, who drove down from Saginaw to see us, told me there were even a couple dancers in the aisles in the back. It's amazing how the audience energy gives energy back to us on stage.

We ended with our arrangement of Yatai Bayashi (made famous through Kodo) and received a standing ovation, to our surprise.  Unfortunately, because of time restraints, we weren't able to end with our usual encore, Mushi Okuri.  We did get a big compliment after the show.  A man came down to the stage to ask me if we have ever seen Kodo perform to which I replied that we had several times.  He followed up with, "You guys are right up there with them, aren't you."  Of course, we know better, but it was still nice to hear.

If you missed us at Orchestra Hall, try to catch us at the Detroit Institute of Arts this Friday, July 22 at 7 and 8:30 PM.  You can always stay up to date on our performances through the Performances Page on this website and also by becoming a fan of our Facebook Page.



Three Weeks of Taiko

Last weekend we began three weekends of consecutive taiko performances. On Sunday, we traveled to Lake Orion (north of Pontiac) to be a part of the Dragon on the Lake Dragon Boat Races Opening Ceremony.  It was a beautiful day for the event, but we were glad to be done with our set by 11:30 because it was already starting to get hot. We only had 10 minutes to play so we did a short set of Raigun, an Odaiko piece and Mushi Okuri. One of the nice things about short sets is you feel like you can give your all and not worry about saving anything for the end of the concert. It is over before you know it. There were many people taking pictures as we played and some have shared them with us. Here are a few:


This Monday (September 6, Labor Day) we are excited to be a part of Royal Oak's Arts Beats and Eats festival. We will be performing at 11 AM on Vince and Joe's stage. We are particularly excited about this because we will be debuting a couple new pieces and will also be joined by my brother, Andrew Sole, the drummer of Chicago's popular group, The Detholz!.

We have performance for a private event on Sept 11 and the following weekend, on Sept 19th we will be in Saginaw for a Japanese festival at the Japanese gardens. Details can be found on our taiko performances page.

Finally, we will be starting new taiko classes next week. If you, or anyone you know might be interested, please check out our taiko classes page and get in contact with us at raion.taiko@gmail.com