Taiko is “drum” in Japanenese—“great drum” or “wide drum” specifically, though the word is now used to refer to several different Japanese drums. Taiko have been around since the Yayoi Period (300 B.C.E. – 300 C.E.), and they play an important role in Gagaku, one of the oldest styles of court music still in existence today. Taiko now also refers to ensemble taiko drumming, which is a much younger practice—only 60 years old—but has become popular outside of Japan, in Singapore, Canada and America. See why for yourself this Friday at the Norton Simon, when local ensemble Makoto Taiko takes the stage, directed by renowned taiko master Koji Nakamura. Their performance has been titled “Cosmic Thunder,” which is a pretty awesome name. We’d go watch grass grow if they called it that.
Cosmic Thunder: Taiko Drumming
Friday, July 16, 7 – 8 p.m.
The Norton Simon
411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Performance free with $8 general museum admission