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Educational Assembly Performance
Artist in Residence Program
Grades K thru High School

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Sharing the Art of Taiko

One World Taiko is a professional Japanese drum ensemble that captivates audiences of all ages with their heart pounding rhythms and dynamic movement. They have performed at performing art centers, festivals, colleges, corporate events and at over 1000 K-12 schools throughout the USA. Their assembly program brings diversity and cultural awareness to students, building a bridge of cultural understanding through the art of taiko.

“awesome, captivating, powerfully fast drumming and exciting choreography”

Their school performances feature traditional and original compositions interwoven with descriptions of the drums and other instruments and the history of taiko in Japan and here in America. During a lively interactive section on how to play, a group of students are invited up to play the taiko.

“outstanding mastery of art and ability to relate to children was exemplary”

After starting their group in the San Francisco Bay Area, Gary Tsujimoto and Nancy Ozaki have been performing for over 25 years throughout the USA and in Europe, Japan and the Middle East. One World Taiko performed full time for 4 years as resident taiko drummers at the Walt Disney World Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. From 2014 to 2017, they toured the USA from coast to coast for nine months each year while on a roster of performing artists booked by a professional agency.
The group is currently based in Denver, CO.

“best assembly, fascinating, new and exciting, educational, cultural and musical, fast-paced, relatable, fun, loud, making the floor vibrate and taking the audience in by the beat of the drums, keeping their attention throughout, entertained and enlightened, excellent interaction with the audience”

Students, teachers and principals describing our assembly program

 

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Culminating student performance of our Artist in Residency
at Centrum's Young Artist Project
Centrum

 

Centrum Taiko Class Video

This video is an excerpt of our Centrum Explorations taiko class performance. The students are 7th and 8th Graders. They named themselves Taiko Ryu. This finale performance culminated our 1 week residency of taiko instruction which also included teaching the students aspects of Japanese culture, language and history. This song is our arrangement of Osuwa Daiko's Hiryu San Dan Gaeshi.

 

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Artist in Residency at Fernwood Elementary in Bothel, WA

 

One World Taiko was based in Seattle, WA from late 2001 to mid 2014.
During our time in Seattle, Nancy Ozaki of One World Taiko was
selected to be on the Washington State Arts Commission
Roster of Teaching Artists by a panel of arts educators.
She was on this Arts Commission Roster from 2003 through 2013.

 

Recommendations and Testimonials

A recommendation letter from
Assumption-St Bridget Catholic School (K-8) in Seattle, WA:

"I am a music specialist at Assumption-St. Bridget School in Seattle, and we recently had One World Taiko do two assemblies for our k-8 student body. It was one of the best performance assemblies we have ever had. (and I've been at this a long time!) I appreciated the professionalism of Gary Tsujimoto and Nancy Ozaki every step of the way, from the booking through the completion of the performances. What I loved the most about it was how engaged the students were throughout the entire forty minutes (and I mean from kindergarteners to eighth graders!). Gary and Nancy struck the perfect balance between sharing information about Taiko drumming (techniques, costumes, the drums themselves, their own training) and performance pieces that were just the right length. The balance of traditional and contemporary compositions was also just perfect. Of course, the students who had the chance to actually play loved it the most! Even watching other students perform was a lot of fun for the audience. The audience participation was also great! The most affirming thing I can say about this assembly was that I had dozens of students, across the grades, come up to me later that day, and even for the next couple of days, thanking me for arranging the Taiko drum assembly for them. The kids universally loved it! I give One World Taiko an A+ for providing us with an outstanding experience in every way."

Linda Reid, Music Specialist,
Assumption-St.Bridget School
Seattle, WA

 

A recommendation letter from
the University Child Development School in Seattle, WA:

"One World Taiko put on a fabulous show at University Child Development School for pre-K through 5th grade students! As the music teacher at the school who has coordinated tons of visiting performers, I was highly impressed with not only their artistry and musicianship, but also their ability to engage the students. After performing their own mesmerizing arrangements they brought students to the stage and taught them basic Taiko rhythms. Gary and Nancy were skilled teachers and were able to adapt the complexity of the rhythm to the level of the students. The performance also incorporated Japanese language and culture. I would highly recommend One World Taiko for your school performance or workshop!"

Matt Swanson, Music Specialist
University Child Development School

 

A recommendation letter from
Centrum's Young Artists Program, in Port Townsend, WA:

"One World Taiko has been a part of our weeklong arts immersion program, Explorations, for the last several years. They provide a key component to the week by offering dynamic performance, excellent musical instruction and giving students the cultural context of taiko in Japan and the United States. For each of the Centrum programs, Nancy Ozaki & Gary Tsujimoto work with a core group for up to two hours a day, four days in a row. They also work with three other groups for one or one-and-a-half hours. They teach the students how to focus using meditation, how to warm up in preparation for the physical work they will do as drummers, how to learn the different drum beats through memorization and vocalization and how to have the correct form as drummers. The students learn several pieces that they are able to perform at the end of the week. Along with this, Gary and Nancy impart the philosophy of taiko, teach how to count in Japanese and some Japanese language, show slides and videos of taiko performance and give demonstrations. It is a demanding schedule and they meet it with energy and enthusiasm that translates to the students.

The students love this. Nancy and Gary receive the highest praise in student evaluations. The following student quotes are in response to the question: Name three highlights of your week at Centrum. First highlight: When I hit the taiko drum. I loved it. Second highlight: When I memorized the whole song in three days. 
Third highlight: When I got on stage to perform, it gave me so much confidence to keep going on what I learned. Another student said: Taking taiko drumming and learning do, ko, doko, don, kon and ka & ra, the silent sa's and 's. I really enjoyed getting to use my ki to hit the
chudaikos and learning a little Japanese.

Another vital part of the week at Centrum is the artist faculty showcase. One World Taiko's performances are exciting. The combination of galvanizing drumbeats and the way they play is stunning. Nancy and Gary's performance style looks like a finely choreographed dance. They have a varied repertoire that captivates their audience. One World Taiko has the highest standard of professionalism. They are always timely and prepared. They provide all of the instruments for instruction and are extremely organized in setting up a class. For the programs at Centrum, all the drums have to move from one location to another, and they go the extra mile to make this happen conveniently. I cannot imagine a more talented or generous group to have as part of our program at Centrum.
I heartily recommend One World Taiko."

Martha Worthley
Program Manager, Centrum
Port Townsend, WA
www.centrum.org

 

A testimonial from
3 Cedars Waldorf School in Bellevue, WA:

"Resounding in dancing rhythms, the pure joy and energy of the Taiko drummers filled the hearts and bodies of the children this morning. They dreamt of their own strength flowing through their bodies with such a disciplined combination of strength and skill, and returned to their classrooms overflowing with positivity and happiness. Our deepest gratitude to One World Taiko and to our Japanese teachers, with Tokura Sensei as coordinator, for bringing us this memorable gift."

E. S., Grade 3 teacher
3 Cedars Waldorf School
Bellevue, WA

 

A testimonial from
Rachal Carson Elementary in Sammamish, WA

"Thank you again for the wonderful performance. I received more positive feedback from this assembly more than any other....fantastic!"

Deslie Zangaglia
PTSA Rachel Carson Elementary
Lake Washington School District
Sammamish, WA

 

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