Taiko Drum Camp for Youth
November 11 @ 3:30 pm - December 9 @ 5:00 pm
What: 4 week TAIKO Drumming Day Camp
Where: CFTA Off Center Stage
When: Wednesday afternoons: November 11th, November 18th, December 2nd, December 9th
Who: Mitzi Garnett founder of Grass Valley Taiko
Ages: Junior High, High School (All ages encouraged but priority will be given to ages 12-24)
No experience or instrument necessary
Taiko, a Japanese style of drumming, has a long and rich history. Originating in China, it traveled through many countries and took on various forms, finally settling profoundly in Japan. There, it was used to call the Gods to alter existing conditions such as warding off pestilence, bringing rain, blessing a harvest or inviting the ancestors to join in celebration of the family.
Villages used the drums to communicate, soldiers were sent to war and fishermen called in from the sea. Taiko was once very utilitarian.
As Japan became influenced by the West, certain traditions were left to the elders to carry. As many young people struck out for America and all the dreams that it held, these traditions were left behind. For a while. Soon, the beating of the drums was greatly missed as traditional festivals began to surface in America.
A few frontiersmen took the lead in bringing Taiko to America. Among them, and one of the most influential, is Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko Dojo. He is noted for having started or influenced most groups that have since sprung up in North America.
Mitzi Garnett, long standing student of Grand Master Tanaka, has carried that torch and formed Grass Valley Taiko. Founded in 2000, the group has taken root and is now actively participating in many community events. Mitzi’s creative interpretations of traditional pieces along with those created by the members of Grass Valley Taiko, presents a variety of styles and rhythms to appease the audience.