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Article updated: 11/12/2012 6:59 PM

Ensemble to explore Japanese drumming at ECC

Submitted by Elgin Community College

Acclaimed drumming ensemble San Jose Taiko will bring the beat to Elgin Community College Sunday, Nov. 18. The performance begins at 4 p.m. at the ECC Arts Center's Blizzard Theatre located in Building H on the Spartan Drive campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

Billed as a fully choreographed, theatrically lit, extravaganza of sound, San Jose Taiko takes the essence and voice of the traditional taiko drum and infuses it with the vitality and freshness of their American spirit. What is created from the ensemble's performances is a powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sound that spans three decades and transcends cultural barriers and fosters a greater understanding of the Japanese American culture.

San Jose Taiko was founded in 1973 by young Asian-Americans searching for an outlet to convey their experiences as third-generation Japanese Americans. Looking to Japan for inspiration, they were drawn to the empowering sounds of the taiko, the Japanese drum, an instrument that embodies the spiritual essence and heartbeat of Japan.

Since then, San Jose Taiko has become a world-class ensemble, performing extensively both nationally and internationally. By studying with masters of other traditions and cultures, the musicians of San Jose Taiko have broadened and embellished this historical art form into a style that joins the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin and jazz. The resulting sound is contemporary, thrilling, new and innovative.

Tickets are $35. Tickets for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office in the Arts Center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847) 622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted. Visit elgin.edu/arts for more information about the ECC Arts Center, including video clips of upcoming artists and events, the Standing Room Only blog, and links to the Arts Center's Twitter and Facebook pages.

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