Island to Island Arts Festival
Island to Island JAM
Friday, March 4th @ 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 5th @ 8:00 pm
Join us for the launch of the Island Arts Festival to celebrate arts and culture from around the world on the magical isle of Alameda. The first concerts feature Chieko Kojima, principal dancer of renowned ensemble Kodo from Japan, with premier fue (bamboo flute) player, Kaoru Watanabe from Manhattan, and Alameda artists Maze Daiko in a rousing reinvention of traditional and contemporary far east-western island music, dance & drumming.
Chieko Kojima and Kaoru Watanabe have worked together extensively on Kodo's stage to develop a visual and musical style of that transverse time and cultural boundaries. Chieko is known for her innovative interpretations of Japanese folk dance. Kaoru is a rare musician trained in both traditional and contemporary forms of eastern and western music. Together they reinvent tradition in our modern world with clarity and relevance.
Maze Daiko is known as the pioneer of a unique style, combining global instrumentation and rhythms with the physical elegance and power of taiko. Members of Maze Daiko, Janet Koike, Cristine Sato, Elaine Fong, Kathryn Cabunoc, Tina Blaine and Carolyn West, bring years of collective taiko experience from San Jose Taiko, Odaiko New England, Kyodo Taiko, Emeryville Taiko and the Rhythmix Ensemble. Their musical training mixes (Maze) together with unusual instrumentation, marimba, santur, djembe to create original interpretations for taiko that fill the stage with energetic choreography and distinctive sound.
Born in Iwafune, Tochigi Prefecture, Chieko first encountered Japanese folk dancing when she joined Ondekoza in 1976.
When Kodo was formed, Chieko carved out a niche for herself as one of the few regularly performing female members. She is noted for the original style of her dancing in Kodo's taiko-based performances. In her piece, 'Hana-Hachijo', the dance element she brings to her taiko playing explores new frontiers. Chieko's vivid portrayal of the goddess Uzume in Tamasaburo Bando's 'Amaterasu' in 2006 illustrated her unique talent.
Aside from her Kodo performances, Chieko also performs in the song and dance group 'Hanayui' with Yoko Fujimoto and Mitsue Kinjo (Okinawan Dance). She also produces her own solo performances and collaborations in her project, 'Yukiai'. Chieko enjoys expanding her repertoire and meeting new and stimulating people in the course of her world travels.
Kaoru was born in July 3rd, 1975 to St. Louis Symphony musician parents. He started playing classical flute and taiko (Japanese drum) in early middle school. Graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before moving to New York to study Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. Kaoru performed and recorded with Stefon Harris and Jason Moran on Blue Note Records, among others. He was a member of Soh Daiko, the oldest and most respected taiko group on the East Coast.
In Tokyo, Kaoru studied Noh Kan (flute used in Noh and Kabuki theater) with Hiroyuki Matsuda, and the fue (bamboo flute) music of Edo Matsuri Bayashi with Kiyosuke Kobayashi. Moved to Sado Island in 1998 to become an apprentice and then performing member with Kodo. In 2005, he became the Artistic Director of Earth Celebration, Kodo's annual world music festival held in Sado every summer. Kaoru left Kodo in September of 2006 and moved back to New York City to continue making music on the fue, flute and taiko in a variety of settings as well as teaching workshops, private lessons and his school.
Rhythmix Cultural Works
2513 Blanding Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|