Explore Japanese Music, Dance and Culture through Taiko Drumming


February 9th, 7:00pm at the Whitney Community Center

Please Join Stuart Paton, Sensei and Artistic Director of Burlington Taiko, for an evening of Japanese drumming and dance. Full of movement and voice, grace and dexterity, ancient traditions and new stories, Stuart’s performance will appeal to all ages! We are delighted to present this program jointly on behalf of The Friends of the Jackson Public Library, The Friends of the Whitney Community Center and The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire on Monday February 9th, 2015 at 7:00 pm at the Whitney Community Center in Jackson, NH.

WHAT IS TAIKO? In Japanese, Taiko refers to any kind of drum — but in other countries it refers to both Japanese drums and a particular style of ensemble Taiko drumming and performance, characterized by intense energy and excitement. Taiko performance combines distinct form, technical rhythm, stick grip, clothing and instrumentation, and many groups also use woodwind instruments, vocals and strings for accompaniment.

Stuart Paton spent most of his childhood in Japan, from age nine months through eighteen years. His earliest exposure to Taiko included a first-grade fascination with the drums at an Obon celebration in Tokyo, and learning “Matsuri Daiko” from the composer of the score for his high school drama production. His formal study of Taiko began in 1984 during a summer apprenticeship with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, the founder of the first Taiko group in North America (San Francisco Taiko Dojo). Paton founded the Burlington Taiko Group in 1986, not long after settling in Vermont.

Stuart and Burlington Taiko conduct dozens of school performances and residencies annually, providing approximately 5,000 students a year first-hand knowledge of the excitement and power of playing Taiko. The purpose of this work is to instill an appreciation for diverse cultures and to provide role models of adults expressing powerful creative energy in avenues that benefit the community. The rhythms, dance and colors are especially engaging for youth.

This one hour concert is part of an 11-day regional residency, coordinated by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, and funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts as part of the NEA Regional Touring Program, with support from the New England State Arts Councils including the NH State Council on the Arts. The residency brings assemblies, workshops and performances with Sensei Paton to schools and communities throughout northern New Hampshire. You can learn more about the Arts Alliance and Burlington Taiko’s North Country residency at www.aannh.org.

The presentation is free and open to the public although a $5.00 donation is welcome to offset speaker expenses. For more information, please contact the Jackson Public Library at 603-383-9731