TaikoProject returns to the Ford Theatres on Saturday, June 15, at 8 p.m., with its exuberant blend of percussion and choreography, to release their third album, entitled “Benzaiten.”
“This show will be the public’s first opportunity to hear our new album,” says TaikoProject Executive Director Bryan Yamami. “We’re playing the album in its entirety and we’re excited to share this new work with our audiences at the Ford.”
The evening will open with both new and favorite taiko songs performed by TaikoProject, Bombu Taiko, and youth performing group Kitsune Taiko.
TaikoProject has been captivating audiences since its founding in 2000, performing alongside such stars as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Usher, Jared Leto’s Thirty Seconds to Mars and John Legend.
The group has performed on the Academy Awards, at the Grammys, on NBC’s “The Voice,” Syfy’s “Face/Off” and Fox’s “The X-Factor,” and was featured in rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars’ epic “Up in the Air” music video, appearing with the band on “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
After intermission, TaikoProject will perform all of the songs from “Benzaiten.”
Exploring new dimensions in taiko-based music under the artistic direction of Masato Baba, TaikoProject blends powerful drumming with dance, bamboo flute (shinobue), marimba, and voice like no other group.
The new album is inspired by the folkloric Japanese goddess of music and dance. While women are at times relegated in other taiko ensembles to smaller, more delicate roles, Taiko-Project celebrates the power and intensity that their female performers embody, and proudly presents it front and center. Themes in the album range from parenthood and hope in the koto-infused “Sky Boy,” to impending storm and atmospheric rage of “Kaminari no Koe (Voice of Thunder).”
The John Anson Ford Theatres are owned by Los Angeles County and operated in partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation and Ford Theatre Foundation. Situated in a 32-acre regional park in the Cahuenga Pass, the complex is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles still in use.
Tickets start at $20 and are available at http://FordTheatres.org or (323) 461-3673. For groups of 10 or more, order online. The Ford is located off the 101 Freeway at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, between Hollywood and Universal Studios. Grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking.