Media Release
by on March 31, 2008 in media release


Winnipeg, MB – Hinode Taiko, Canada’s best known taiko ensemble, could teach federal politicians a thing or two about renewable energy with their full-length “New Traditions” concert at Centre culturel franco-manitobain, 340 Provencher, on Saturday, April 26, 8:00 pm, and Sunday, April 27, 2008, 2:00 pm.

After 25 years, a group known for its “pure raw energy and power tempered by precision and focus” (Winnipeg Free Press) can still rock an audience and strut new repertoire – and look like they’re having the time of their lives doing it.

What fuels long-term taiko players like the legendary Sheila Ozamoto – who has played with Hinode since the group’s founding – or Pamela Okano (the group’s artistic director, with a mere 24 years of performing experience) for such high-intensity drumming?

It’s simple, Ozamoto says. “You get energy from [playing] the drums themselves.” Beyond the alchemy of group taiko, however, Hinode members also share a commitment to developing new repertoire and mastering new techniques.

“We’re not afraid to take our songs apart, break our playing down to the basics, and build up again from scratch,” explains Okano. “It takes time, but it’s worth it in the long run – because we’re constantly re-inventing ourselves, our sound, into something totally fresh.”

According to Okano, this year’s concert is by far the most diverse program the group has ever offered. There are the big drums (taiko), as always, but also plenty of other percussion, dance, vocals, flute, koto [Japanese harp] – a full gamut of sight and sound. “Even our closest fans are going to see things that will surprise them,” Okano promises.

“It’s sustainable, but it isn’t carbon-neutral – we never do anything neutral.”
Hinode Taiko’s “New Traditions” concert tickets cost $20 in advance ($25 at the door) and are available at: McNally Robinson Booksellers Grant Park (475-0483), Edohei Restaurant (943-0427), and the Manitoba Japanese Cultural Centre, 180 McPhillips (774-5909).

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