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.