2011 / American Taiko Update : Phoenix Fushicho Daiko

Phoenix Fushicho Daiko Esther Vandecar

Phoenix taiko leader Esther Vandecar, front right, at May 14 Taiko Explosion Concert at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix. (Cultural News Photo)

On May 14, Phoenix taiko leader Esther Vandecar announced her retirement from the Fushicho Daiko activities in Arizona and would start her new taiko group Michigan Hiryu Taiko in Karamazoo, Michigan at the end of May.

Her announcement was made during the Fushicho Daiko’s Taiko Explosion concert on May 14 at the Japanese Friendship Garden near Downtown Phoenix. The evening concert drew more than 300 audiences.

Fushicho Daiko and its taiko classes in Phoenix was founded by Esther Vandecar in 1992 upon her return to the U.S. after seven years, teaching English, and learning and performing taiko in Hiroshima and Matsuyama, Japan. Esther has been on the Arizona Commission on the Arts roster since 1993 and with Fushicho Daiko since 1996.

Fushicho Daiko performs both traditional and original taiko songs with power, energy, skill and joy, sharing their music with schools, colleges, and communities, in theaters and festivals throughout the southwest region of the U.S.

Fushicho Daiko strives to present and share the joy, energy and teamwork of Japanese taiko drumming in the hopes of entertaining, educating and inspiring youth and adults in both countries.

Music teacher Eileen Morgan joined Fushicho Daiko in 1994; and veteran Rock ’n’ Roller from Nagoya, Ken Koshio, and talented actress Marsha Robb in 2004. Consistent travels to Japan for taiko study and cultural immersion have built a taiko team that honors the history and significance of taiko in Japan and celebrates the creativity and joy of taiko in the U.S.

Community taiko group under the tutelage of Esther Vandecar include: Phoenix Taiko Kai, Saboten Taiko, Aozora Taiko, and Kemushi Daiko, a youth group.

Eileen Morgan became the director of Fushicho Daiko activities and classes. Their taiko studio remains at the same location near Downtown Phoenix.

Esther Vandecar Michigan Hiryu Taiko Banner

Esther Vandecar and new banner of Michigan Hiryu Taiko. (Cultural News Photo)

For class schedule, Fushicho Daiko and solo performances inquiries, contact Eileen at (602) 995-4533. www.TaikoAz.com

Ken Koshio continues to teach “WA” workshops, ongoing taiko skill classes, and to perform solo. For contacting Ken, call (602) 412-7781 or email kenkoshio@gmail.com. www.KenKoshio.com

Esther will perform at Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI, on May 24, at 7:30 pm
For information about Esther’s new Michigan Hiryu Taiko, email Esther.TaikoMichigan@gmail.comwww.TaikoMichigan.com

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