Summer 2017 Enikki Diaries

The end of the year is almost upon us. Tsukasa has two more large performances: the anuual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and of course our end of the year Taiko Legacy and Reduction concerts at the MCA. We just finished another busy yet successful summer season, from our Night Out in the Parks series to Mitsuwa’s Summer Bon Dance Festival. We of course had our San Francisco friends come to Chicago and we even recorded a new Gintenkai album! (Coming soon~)

This summer we decided to gave our students an enikki homework project. Enikki is a picture diary that is given to students over the summer to present their most memorable moments. So we had our students draw and write about their Tsukasa moments with the promise that one drawing would be printed onto a bag.

This year’s bag features our chibikko member Eita’s drawing!

Look through gallery to see all of our participating members’ drawings and memories!

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News: Job Position at Asian Improv aRts Midwest

Asian Improv Arts Midwest seeks Visiting Instructor/Performer in
Chicago, IL (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 curriculums
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 @ Ref # 30211.

Yoko Ono’s “Skylanding” Project

The legendary Ms. Yoko Ono has just unveiled her newest Skylanding sculpture in Chicago’s Jackson Park. It’s the first  permanent sculpture of hers in the Americas and initiated by Project 120, local nonprofit investing in Chicago’s public parks.

Tsukasa had the honor to take part in the many iterations of the project. Last summer we played for the groundbreaking ceremony to officiate the location of the sculpture. As the official music for the project, we spent some time at the Chicago Recording Company recording with The Miyumi Project -with special guest Dee Alexander- for the Skylanding album. The recording was a reinterpretation of Ms. Ono’s “Plastic Ono Band”  from the 1970s. The limited edition album was given away to those who attended the official unveiling ceremony which was held on October 17, 2016 at Jackson Park. The day concluded with an evening show by The Miyumi Project at the Stony Island Arts Bank with a surprise guest Rick Nielsen from rock band Cheap Trick!!

Tsukasa is honored to have been a part of such a wonderful and iconic project. Thank you!

Visit the project website here.

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Thank you Genryu!

Summer is one of the busiest times for Tsukasa Taiko and the first week in August is one of our busiest. Last year, one of our National Gintenkai members Wesley from Genryu Arts flew in to help us. This year 7 players from Genryu flew in for a week to play with Tsukasa’s chibikko, Cool Ladies and Gintenkai Unit throughout the city. We had a total of 9 shows in 5 days: an educational program at Montessori Language Academy; Night Out in the Parks series at HAAS Park and Ping Tom Park; Family Fun at Millennium Park; and two days at the Morton Arboretum’s Destination Asia Festival.  We also squeezed in a few rehearsals in preparation for our annual Taiko Legacy and Reduction shows in December.

It was a packed schedule but a wonderful experience because it was one of the few times that our National Gintenkai Project can come and perform together. It was also important to have the younger GRA members come and play with Gintenkai as well as Tsukasa’s other members; to introduce them to the strength of our national relationship between Genryu in San Francisco and Tsukasa in Chicago.

Thank you so much to the performers and parents for flying out!

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