ENTERTAINMENT: The Beat of a Different Drum

Taiko refers to both the modern art of Japanese drumming and to the drums themselves. In the Japanese classical arts, taiko has a history spanning close to two thousand years, but modern taiko drumming—which is performed as an ensemble—is a post-war phenomenon that is gaining a presence in the entertainment world. Members from the troupe Matsuriza in Orlando—who have played at Epcot World Showcase—or members from another troupe pictured at left from the recent Denim and Diamonds event use powerful playing methods and bang on small, medium and large drums. There's even one enormous drum carved out of a single tree trunk and played with clubs the size of baseball bats. While very old, the art has been infused with a current beat and is growing in popularity across Florida and the United States. Performances combine muscle, technique and spirituality to create an intense blend of rhythm, percussion and movement—you don't just listen, you feel it moving through you. —Jose Gomez
Posted 03.04.04
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