SOUL OF THE DRUM

McKnight Theatre, The Ordway
345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102


Mu Daiko is excited to bring its theatrical flair and intense Japanese style drumming to the Ordway’s McKnight stage. The first weekend will feature Mu Daiko in a full program and the second weekend will have special nationally recognized guest, Kaoru Watanabe. In a new program created specifically for this performance with Mu Daiko, Kaoru Watanabe and his ensemble will draw from a wide array of influences – from Japanese Kabuki and Noh theater traditions, to jazz, to contemporary dance, to music of Africa and South America – in order to create a seamless blend of world rhythms, sounds, and movement that are at once timeless and new. Kaoru Watanabe, a former performing member and artistic director of the Japanese taiko ensemble Kodo, is considered by many to be one of the most accomplished players of the various Japanese traverse bamboo flutes (shinobue, noh kan, and ryuteki) in the United States. Joining him is Tamango, a genius tap dancer, percussionist, vocalist, and painter originally from French Guyana, as well as two of New York’s finest drummers and taiko players, Damion Reid and Barbara Merjan, both highly active in New York’s elite jazz and theater scenes.





THE CAST
Mu Daiko

-
Iris Shiraishi, Artistic Director
-
Gregg Amundson
-
Jeff Ellsworth
-
Heather Jeche
-
Craig Schultz
-
Susan Tanabe
-
Jennifer Weir
-
Chiaki O'Brien (intern)
-
Steven Sylvestre (intern)
-
Emma Valentine (intern)
-
Cathie Van Danacker (intern)


Kaoru Watanabe Ensemble

-
Kaoru Watanabe
-
Barbara Merjan
-
Damion Reid
-
Tamango


Guest Artists

-
Megan Chao Smith
-
Momoko Tanno*

* denotes member of Actors Equity
PRODUCTION STAFF
Artistic Director
Iris Shiraishi
Artistic Advisors
Rick Shiomi

Jennifer Weir

Megan Chao Smith
Stage Manager
Lisa Smith*
Set Design
Mina Kinukawa
Lighting Design
Jennifer DeGolier
Costume Design
Christine A. Richardson
Recordist
Thomas Sandelands
Set Builder
David Ishida

* denotes member of Actors Equity