Major Collaborators

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This collaboration calls for three percussionists from three different musical traditions to come together to each compose a new work, based in the composer’s own aesthetic but “orchestrating” to incorporate all three musicians’ styles and instrumentations. Each of the musicians has achieved mastery in his own genre– Kenny Endo in taiko, Abhijit Banerjee on tabla, and John Santos on Latin percussion. Each is an experienced composer, and they all share a passion for exploring musical collaborations across genres and cultural backgrounds. Their sophisticated and complex percussion rhythms take the drum to center stage. Unlike other percussion exchanges that most often resemble virtuosic jam sessions, the goal of this project is to create three new and integrated works, each referencing its roots but creating a synthesis that embraces them all.

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Rhythm Summit

Rhythm Summit trio was born from a unique collaboration made possible by the Honolulu Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts, bringing together the artistry and musicality of world-class artists, Noel Okimoto (drums, vibraphones, percussion), Kenny Endo (taiko, bamboo flute, percussion), and special guest Dean Taba (acoustic and electric bass) for an extraordinary East-West collaboration.  Okimoto is a Royal Hawaiian Band member, composer, vibist, and considered the top jazz drummer in Hawaii. He has performed with Freddie Hubbard, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Getz, Bobby Hutcherson, Riche Cole, and numerous others.  Endo is the vanguard of contemporary taiko and has created novel compositions from his background in western, eastern and world music. He has performed for Michael Jackson and Prince, in concert with singer Bobby McFerrin, opened for The Who, and worked on films (such as Apocalypse Now and Avatar).  Together with cutting edge guest artist Dean Taba on bass (performed/ recorded with San Francisco Symphony, David Benoit, Jake Shimabukuro, Sadao Watanabe, Hiroshima, Rick Braun, and others), they have created compelling music for Rhythm Summit, blending rhythms and sounds from east and west.

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Other Collaborators Past & Present

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Hiromitsu Agatsuma

Hiromitsu Agatsuma specializes in the Tsugaru-jamisen, a larger Japanese lute with thicker strings than those used in other styles. Beginning at the age of six, Agatsuma quickly gained fame after earning top prizes and honors in prestigious national Tsugaru-jamisen competitions during adolescence and his early career. An accomplished artist in the hogaku, or traditional Japanese music world, Agatsuma avidly experimented in fusing its genuinely Japanese sounds with diverse musical genres. He made his major label debut on Toshiba EMI with the album Agatsuma, named Traditional Japanese Music Album of the Year at the 16th Japan Gold Disc Awards. With over 100 annual concerts, sessions and media appearances, Agatsuma continues to pursue the traditions of and innovations in the Tsugaru-jamisen.

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Amanojaku

Amanojaku

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Keola Beamer

Keola Beamer
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Asia Pacific Performance Exchange Ensemble

The Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) is an international residency program with a particular focus on American and Asian artists. APPEX programs have brought together more than 250 traditional and contemporary artists of varying disciplines from America and throughout Asia – from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam — for six week long intensive residency sessions on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and in Indonesia.

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Cudamani (Balinese Gamelan Orchestra)

Comprised of a 60 young virtuoso musicians and dancers, Çudamani is a professional company with a working philosophy much like a family temple or sanggar- that is, their work is dedicated to the communal and spiritual life of the villages. The company is famous for teaching, performing and preserving the rich and rare classical Balinese repertoire. At the same time, the composers contribute to both traditional and contemporary music, dance and shadow puppet projects.

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Hitoshi Hamada

Hitoshi Hamada is considered the top jazz vibraphonist in Japan today. Born in Hokkaido, Hamada began playing mallet instruments at the age of six. He took a liking to jazz in high school and used the marimba to practice with. After graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts, he made his professional debut with the group “Force.” Hamada is also an accomplished composer, arranger, pianist, percussionist, and leader of his own ensemble. He has appeared on numerous recordings and has published several albums as a bandleader.

Hamada’s virtuoso technique and joyful, spirited performance enriches Endo’s music adding a fun new dimension to the ensemble. Hamada can be heard on Endo’s CD “Jugoya.”

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DeShannon Higa

DeShannon Higa
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Shoko Hikage

Shoko Hikage
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Yuu Ishizuka

Yuu Ishizuka
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Kapua

Kapua

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Chieko Kojima

Chieko Kojima
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Abe Lagrimas

Abe Lagrimas
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Anju Madoka

Anju Madoka

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Saburo Mochizuki

Saburo Mochizuki (Professional Kabuki Theatre Musician, Original Member of Famed Sukeroku Taiko)

Saburo Mochizuki (stage name) was born as Yutaka Ishizuka in 1946 in Tokyo. Saburo Mochizuki is his stage name in the hogaku hayashi (classical Japanese music) world. One of the top hogaku musicians in Japan today, he maintains a regular schedule performing in the Kabuki theatre. Before entering the classical Japanese music world, he was the winner of the 3rd annual Yushima Bon Drumming Competition in 1961 demonstrating great technique, persona, and flamboyant style. He is one of four founding members of Sukeroku Taiko, the first professional taiko group in Japan. Named after a Kabuki character who was the epitome of the Edo spirit, Sukeroku Taiko hoped to project that spirit, and style through their drumming. The Sukeroku style of drumming is one of the first styles of taiko introduced to America in the 1960s. This style of drumming influenced nearly all taiko groups in the United States via Seiichi Tanaka of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. Well known world-class local taiko artist Kenny Endo studied with both Tanaka and Mochizuki.

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Derek Nakamoto

Derek Nakamoto
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Oedo Sukeroku Taiko

Oedo Sukeroku Taiko
 
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Kiyohiko Semba

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Kyosuke Suzuki

Kyosuke Suzuki
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Kaori Takahashi

Kaori Takahashi
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Kaoru Watanabe

Kaoru Watanabe specializes in the Japanese bamboo and Western flutes, as well astaiko. His music can be best described as an ever-shifting blend of Japanese folk and classical traditions with contemporary improvisational and experimental music. A St. Louis native, Kaoru eventually moved to Japan to pursue his passion. As artistic director for the world-renowned Kodo, Kaoru focused on their world music festival, Earth Celebration, where he directed shows that combined music, dance, and visual arts. Through Kodo, Kaoru worked closely with legendary Kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo. Upon leaving Kodo in 2006, he returned to NY to teach and perform and continue his innovative work by blending conventional Japanese sounds with such instruments as the hurdy-gurdy, tabla, and ngoni.

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Todd Yukumoto

Todd Yukumoto received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Music Education and a Master’s degree in saxophone performance.  He has performed with the Tangelwood Fellowship Chamber Group under the direction of Reinbert DeLeeuw, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Civic Orchestra and as soloist with the Anchorage Civic Orchestra and the Royal Hawaiian Band.  Being. versed in jazz styles, he has also performed with Marvin Stamm, Diann Schurr, Chris Potter, Gabe Baltazar, The Ollie Mitchell Big Band, Roadhouse Blues Band, the Vibe, and has done several commercial recordings as well.  He is presently lecturer of saxophone at the University of Hawai’i Manoa and a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band.

 

Collaborations with Orchestra

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Hawaii Youth Symphony

Orquestra Experimental (Brazil)

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Hong Kong Symphony

Hong Kong Symphony

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Honolulu Symphony

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Orquestra Experimental (Brazil)

Orquestra Experimental (Brazil)

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Stanford Symphony Orchestra

Stanford Symphony

Collaborations with Dance / Theatre

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David Furumoto

David Furumoto - Wondrous Tales of Old Japan

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Dan Kwong

What? No Ping Pong Balls?

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Hawaii Opera Theatre

Hawaii Opera Theatre - The Mikado

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Parijat Desai Dance Company

Parijat Desai Dance Company

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University of Hawaii Department of Dance

University of Hawaii Department of Dance
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Peggy Adams

Peggy Gaither Adams, a professor at the University of Hawai‘i for over 30 years, is an accomplished choreographer and dancer. Having worked with Southern Danceworks (Alabama), Four Bare Fete (mainland U.S.) and Dance Import (Honolulu), Peggy continues to perform, teach and choreograph internationally. She has worked with organizations such as the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, and Lasalle SIA School of the Arts in Singapore. Her deep interest in rhythm tap inspired her to collaborate with Kenny Endo on a concert for Kennedy Theatre in 2013. Peggy has had a glorious time reviving Midnight Moon from that concert for tonight’s performance.

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University of Hawaii

University of Hawaii Kabuki

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Yukie Shiroma & Norman Kaneshiro

Yukie Shiroma and Norman Kaneshiro