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Odaiko New England  

Propulsive. Pounding rhythms. Dynamic movement. Energy and freewheeling spirit. These are but a few descriptions of taiko.

Odaiko New England (ONE) is a performing group that weaves the sounds and rhythms of the Japanese taiko with contemporary influences to create a constantly evolving and dynamic form. The powerful sound of the taiko, combined with dynamic movement, creates an exuberant and energetic performance that is sure to broaden audiences' perspectives of Asian American art and culture. ONE continues the exciting tradition that is the hallmark of American taiko groups by creating new taiko compositions that integrate other musical elements drawn from jazz, rock, Latin and African traditions, and other performance disciplines such as dance and theater. Taking traditional Japanese taiko rhythms and infuses them with a modern spirit, ONE creates their own electrifying, powerful, dynamic and distinct style and voice.

As a diverse group of individuals, ONE works together to exemplify the spirit of kumi daiko (ensemble drumming) by harmonizing their creative energy to develop a distinctive American taiko aesthetic. As their name suggests, they hope to drum as ONE voice and to come together as ONE. Brought together by the love of taiko and the power of kumi daiko, the members of ONE seek to use the voice of the taiko to speak across the boundaries of race, class, culture and religion and to bring people together in harmony and community.

ONE was founded in 1995 and is one of a handful of taiko groups on the East Coast. Their members reflect the rich ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of Massachusetts. Using borrowed taiko from Soh Daiko of New York, tires and makeshift garbage can "taiko," ONE had its first rehearsals in the children's playroom of a church in Brookline, MA.

Since these modest beginnings, ONE has greatly grown. They are currently on the performance roster of Young Audiences of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. They perform throughout the New England and East Coast region, at both indoor and outdoor venues, for cultural and corporate events, festivals and municipal celebrations such as First Night Boston. ONE is strongly committed to teaching and educational outreach. Through taiko workshops, lecture demonstrations and ongoing classes, ONE is able to engage audiences, young and old, in a better appreciation and understanding of Asian and Asian American culture.

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