March 31, 2016
Traditional Japanese taiko drummer Kenny Endo will perform at 7:30 pm on March 31 at VRCFA.
The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA) and Shawnee State University present Kenny Endo, traditional Japanese taiko drummer, at 7:30 p.m. on March 31, at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA).
Endo is the first Westerner to be granted the licensure to perform traditional Japanese taiko drumming. He traveled to Japan with the intent of staying for a year but instead, Endo ended up spending 10 years studying the art before he was granted his “natori,” the official name that serves as a license to perform.
Endo’s performance will include taiko drumming as well as contemporary works where jazz vibraphone, Hawaiian ukulele and traditional Japanese instruments are played with a rock ‘n roll energy. He will have the beat of the drums thrumming through your body for the entirety of his performance.
Endo has worked with numerous artists on many distinguished projects, including the opening for The Who, performing a duet with singer Bobby McFerrin, performing for Michael Jackson and Prince, as well as Princess Diana and Prince Charles. He has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony and the Tokyo Symphony. Endo has recorded music for three films, Kayo Hatta’s Picture Bride, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and James Cameron’s Avatar. Endo was also featured in PBS’s special, “The Spirit of Taiko.”
Tickets are $25 for the general public, $23 for seniors, $17 for SSU students, faculty and staff, and $15 for children under the age of 12. Upper tier seating is available at discounted prices. Tickets are available at the McKinley Box Office, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. through Fri., at (740) 351-3600, or online at Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/41868.
Additional information is available at the VRCFA’s website, www.vrcfa.com. For additional information on Endo, visit http://www.kennyendo.com.
The performance of Kenny Endo Contemporary Taiko Ensemble is sponsored by the Richard D. Marting Foundation.
The 2015-16 SOPAA/SSU season is presented with the support of the Ohio Arts Council, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Portsmouth, The SSU Development Foundation, the Martings Foundation and the Scioto Foundation.