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Welcoming the Toyko taiko masters

TASSIE’S Taiko Drum percussionists are set to perform with some of the best in the business when two Tokyo taiko masters visit Hobart in March.

Highly regarded taiko professionals Makoto Sekine and Morimitsu will bring their group Wa-no-Oto Ichiza Medetai to the state for next month’s Island Taiko Gathering 2019, and also join local taiko drummers for a special concert at Rosny College.

Makoto and Morimitsu travel Japan and the world performing taiko drumming, the spectacular rhythmical art form which originated in the agricultural societies of ancient Japan, but has become increasing popular around the world over the past 50 years.

Taiko Drum is the performance arm of the Tasmania University Union Taiko Society (TUUTS), which was formed by Simon Vanyai in 2002.

Taiko Drum train three times weekly, host drumming workshops, and can be seen performing at a variety of community events and festivals across Tasmania and interstate.

TUUTS committee member Andrea Fergusson said Taiko Drum had developed an excellent relationship with Makoto in recent years, having worked with him several times in both Tasmania and Japan.

“We’ve learned a lot from him, and it has been really special to be able to collaborate and perform with him,” she said.

“We’ve even got a few of his songs in our repertoire now.

“We’ve been developing it year by year, building on it each time we meet up, whether it’s here or in Japan.”

Makoto and Morimitsu will be in Tasmania for nearly three weeks this time, hosting a series of school sessions and headlining the Island Taiko Gathering, a long weekend of Taiko workshops and concerts at the Bicheno Community Hall from 9-11 March.

They will then head to Hobart for the Taiko Spectacular concert, where they will perform solo, as a duet and with the Wa-no-Oto Ichiza Medetai ensemble featuring students from Makoto’s Tokyo taiko school.

They will also be joined by Taiko Drum and Hobart’s other taiko group, the Rosny College Springboard Kizuna Taiko Drummers.

The Sound of Japan: Taiko Spectacular concert will be held in the Rosny College Auditorium from 7pm on Friday 15 March.

Tickets are $38/$32 concession, available from www.trybooking.com/BALQS and  www.taikodrum.com.au.

Caption: Taiko Drum members rehearsing at the Glenorchy Showgrounds.