Argentinian drumming group “Mukaito Taiko” marks its 20th anniversary
March 9, 2015 Ricardo Oshiro, Ryukyu Shimpo correspondent
Mukaito Taiko, which was the first ensemble taiko drumming group to be formed in Argentina, has performed to a packed-out audience, to mark the 20th anniversary of its foundation. The group performed in Buenos Aires, Argentina at Maipo theater, a 750 plus-capacity venue. The event was sold out.
Corrientes Avenue, near where the performance took place, is called the “South American Broadway” because it is a hub of musical theater.
In 1994, Monica Higa and Claudia Toma, who studied taiko in Okinawa, went to Argentina and started promoting taiko. Mukaito Taiko originated in Kitanaka gusuku, where Higa and Toma studied taiko. During that time, they visited Argentina, and donated many musical instruments to the country. From there, the first ensemble taiko group was formed in Argentina. The group is made up of 22 Argentines, including people of Japanese descent.
The performance was held under the title “Travel for continuing dreams.” The event organizer paid tribute to Okinawans, who migrated to Argentina to follow hopes and dreams. The group members pledged from their hearts to continue working to pass on Okinawan traditional music and culture.
Former members of the group took part in the event, bringing the number of performers to over 50. The drummers continuously appeared on stage and played 16 songs. As well as traditional songs such as Danju kariyushi and Takiotoshi, songs composed by the former member Victor Martinez, were played.
Okinawan Taiko artist Hideto Chinen took part as a special guest. Chinen’s powerful performances enthralled the audience.
(English translation by T&CT)
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