|JACL Dayton and Cincinnati|
|Japanese American Citizens League|
Group's Mission and Motivation
We are a non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting Japanese-style taiko drumming through performance and education. Our performances are based on a traditional foundation but emphasize the fun and community spirit of taiko. Taiko drums are large drums played in an ensemble format which allows for thundering sounds and exciting rhythms. Besides the large drums, we include a variety of world percussion including shekere, small cymbals, and a large gong. Our style is based on the Osuwa style which was founded by Daihachi Oguchi Sensei of Japan.
Describe how, where, and why the ensemble was founded. What was its inspiration?
Jim and Peggy Shimko began the group in 1999 after participating in a workshop with St. Louis Taiko. Over the years we have had other sensei do short workshops with us. Membership in the group has changed over the years. Helen Rindsberg is now the Director, Kris Ashburn is the Music Director and Tokie Wade is our style coach.
List of Current Members
November 2016: Helen Rindsberg, Director, Kris Ashburn, Music Director, Tokie Wade, Style Coach and Kiwa Murakami, Kari Buchheim, Tom Scharstein, Bonnie Carpenter, Christian and Shelby Quino, and Sophia Anderson.
(i.e. ethnicity, generation, average years of experience, musical backgrounds, and motivation for playing)
We are currently a mixture of Americans, Japanese and Philipinos.
Description of the group's community - regional, ethnic, social, etc.
We are a regional group and play in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana area.
Describe two of the biggest changes that have characterized the group's development since its founding
Our biggest change has been in membership. We have had many people begin to learn taiko, but drop out, often because of family obligations.
Performances, Recordings, Publications
List a selection of your regular performance venues (for example, Denver Sakura Matsuri, Seabrook obon, business conventions, Manzanar Pilgrimage, Maui Marathon, etc.)
We play annual performances at Miami University and the University of Cincinnati, the Dayton International Festival, the Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati and for the Dayton and Cincinnati Japanese American Citizens League annual dinners.
Musical & Performance Styles
Describe the ensemble's musical and performance styles.
We play suwa and sudeko styles. We have some original songs and enjoy creating new choreography.