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Japan Arts Inc. / Fushu Daiko

Here are a few quotes, articles, reviews on Fushu Daiko…
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Bangin' - Florida's big drum
“Are they dancing gracefully? Or are they having a blow-out fight with an inanimate object? Sometimes it's hard to tell, because when members of the Fushu Daiko performance troupe take the stage, they bang their instruments with the force of their entire bodies, using a combination of martial arts, dance, and taiko drumming. Check out the high-intensity performance of "Element" -- a choreographed piece about a warrior's journey through rain, sun, and Fushu Daiko means "Florida's 'big drum'" in Japanese -- but the performers are a worldly crew gathered from Tennessee, Brazil, Argentina, and Fort Lauderdale.-- Deirdra Funcheon - New Times Palm Beach SAT 6/26/04

“They added dancers and fused other elements, like movement, while still
keeping a formal concert format. It’s all about being in harmony with the elements....It’s a wonderful sensation”
(Tal Abbady - Sun-sentinental/2003).

“As rhythmic pulsing reverberates throughout the Arena, this spirited bunch marches to the beat of their own drums!”
(The Heat Experience magazine - Opening of NBA games/2002).

“…But most striking of all was FIU music dean Fredrick Kaufman's Kaminarimon, a new work that effectively marries the art of Japanese taiko drumming with, of all things, flamenco dancing.
Karen Fuller had the proud spine and machine-gun rapidity in heel stomping to stir excitement. Ben Miller and Jeff Hollen of Fushu Daiko thwacked out rhythmic drum pulses with tremendous vehemence, even clicking castanets, in a work in which Kaufman, with amazingly innovative imagination, has bridged a gap between polar extremes of culture. Stunning.”
Posted on Tue, Nov. 12, 2002
CONCERT REVIEW
High and low notes mark FIU's 'Japan Night' show
BY JAMES ROOS of Miami Herald

“Your music, which blends martial arts and the skill of drumming, has
delighted South Florida audiences and provided a powerful and unforgettable sample of Japanese art. You have clearly succeeded in increasing the interest of Floridians about Japan, and your contributions have been instrumental in building greater understanding and strengthening the bonds that bridge both our peoples.
(Consul General of Japan - Hideaki Asahi/2001)

“Fushu Daiko drummers will capture everyone’s attention with bright, bold costumes and thundering beat.”
( Barbara Dole - Society Line newspaper/1999)

“They are called Fushu Daiko and they beat their drums in perfect unision, pounding and rattling a fierce rhythm that became almost mesmerizing. Exploding through the muggy air, the sound was loud enough to wake the dead - which was the point!!!”
(Claire Booth - Delray Times newspaper/1998)

“Bam!!! The first strike smacks your ears. The sound rises up through your chest, pounds in your lungs. Rat-a-ta-tat. Thud . Thud. Thud. It’s terrific!!”
(Sonja Isger - the Palm Beach Post/1996)

The show culminated with Porto and Fushu Daiko playing "1999," the profound last track on her album. The layering of Porto's dynamic voice and the ethereal reverberation of the large drums created an almost mystical ambience in the theatre and the show finished to the audience's applause. Absolutely superb, I must say.
(CD Review: Fernanda Porto

Reviewed by: Gabriel Sosa www.outloud.com

Fushu Daiko

Today I went to the Renaissance Festival with some friends and family. It was a nice day for it too - bright and sunny, nice and cool. I swear there were A LOT more people there this year than last, but it didn't seem as good. Last year, there was all this fantastic food and all these great things that I wanted to buy, but couldn't since I'm always broke. Well, this year, we didn't eat there and nothing really stood out. The only things I bought were a hair accessory and this leather belt-loop-thingee so I can hold my chalice at my waist when I go to Sabbats. It was still nice and we had a good time, but the absolute highlight of the day was seeing Fushu Daiko.

Fushu Daiko is this AMAZING (Japanese) taiko drum band. I can't count how many times I've seen them, but I never tire of it. They sell CD's, but I haven't bought one because it needs to experienced, to be felt. I like seeing them live. It's hard to describe really, but it's almost as if their drumming captures life. It expresses everything - rage, joy, sadness, tradition, innovation. There's really nothing like it.

http://journals.aol.com/pandorasbazaar/PandorasJournal/

Bangin'

Florida's big drum

SAT 6/26

Are they dancing gracefully? Or are they having a blow-out fight with an inanimate object? Sometimes it's hard to tell, because when members of the Fushu Daiko performance troupe take the stage, they bang their instruments with the force of their entire bodies, using a combination of martial arts, dance, and taiko drumming. Check out the high-intensity performance of "Element" -- a choreographed piece about a warrior's journey through rain, sun, and snow -- at the Morikami Theater (4000 Morikami Park Rd., Delray Beach). Fushu Daiko means "Florida's 'big drum'" in Japanese -- but the performers are a worldly crew gathered from Tennessee, Brazil, Argentina, and Fort Lauderdale. Shows begin at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $20. Call 954-217-1111, or visit www.fushudaiko.com. --Deirdra Funcheon

HOLLYWOOD
A RESOUNDING HIT
MEMBERS OF THE POPULAR DRUMMING GROUP FUSHU DAIKO CONSISTENTLY DRAW LARGE CROWDS AT HOLLYWOOD'S ARTSPARK

BY BETH FEINSTEIN-BARTL
Special to The Miami Herald
Konstanin Varsamis got a pounding for Father's Day.
Attending a free show by local Japanese taiko drumming troupe Fushu Daiko on Father's Day was a great gift, he said.
The Hollywood resident turned out to watch the group with his daughter, Victoria, 2, in the city's ArtsPark. The pair was among a sizable crowd who came to see Fushu Daiko's skilled, precise choreographed blending of martial arts and fierce rhythms.
''We loved it,'' Varsamis said.
The crew has appeared at the park in the downtown district several times and expects to be back soon. It has become one of the group's favorite spots, said Ben Miller, Fushu Daiko's director.
''It's beautiful,'' Miller said. ``It's nice to be outside and play in a natural setting.''
The Father's Day show at the ArtsPark featured six of Fushu Daiko's 13 members. The drummers come from all nationalities and professions, said Miller, an acupuncturist who lives in Pompano Beach.
HEAVY SCHEDULE
Fushu Daiko has been promoting and teaching the art form since 1990 from its studio at 5935 Ravenswood Rd. in Dania Beach. The dojo -- a Japanese word for school -- serves as rehearsal space and offers classes to newcomers.
The troupe practices three to four nights a week. With such long hours, they have become a family, according to Greg Williams, a member from Deerfield Beach.
It's a busy life. The group does up to 200 appearances a year around the country and abroad, said Miller, who joined Fushu Daiko 11 years ago.
At their shows and rehearsals, members get quite a workout. Although no musical training is required, being a drummer involves plenty of endurance, Miller said.
It's good exercise, said Fernando Moraes, a Brazilian-born professional percussionist from Weston.
''Rather than join a gym, I do this,'' he said.
Maiko Kusano, who's pursuing a doctorate in forensic chemistry at Florida International University, said drumming has made her stronger and healthier. It's excellent for stress relief too, said Kusano, of Miami.
BENEFICIAL
Amy Minshew, a yoga teacher, and Yukako Beatty, a charter yacht broker, both from Fort Lauderdale, say they have received many benefits from being involved with the group.
''People seem to appreciate what we have to offer,'' Beatty said.
Listening to the thundering sounds fill the air and bounce off trees at the ArtsPark, Chananya Schiff, 11, said it was his first time watching taiko drumming.
''It was cool and fun,'' said Schiff, who came to the show with his two brothers, Noah, 8, and Moshe, 10. ``I liked the different techniques.''
Jean Marsan, 12, of Miramar, took to the beat too. ''It makes me want to join,'' he said.
For more information on Fushu Daiko call 954-254-6849, or visit
www.fushudaiko.org

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Nikkei interests

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  • family stories
  • festival/matsuri
  • Japanese/Nikkei food
  • Japantowns
  • taiko

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