In the summer of 2014, I was requested by the Consulate of Japan to put together a concert featuring Japanese classics for the Momiji Centre in Toronto. I was very excited for the chance as I love the challenge of putting together feature stage performances. I decided to invite for the show Kayo Yasuhara of Montreal for her dance and musical talent and my long-time friend Atsushi who was trained as a taiko player.
Though slightly hampered by geography, we managed to create an entertaining show. We also were grateful to involve the Urara Minbukai (Toronto based Odori dance troop) and thus our concert was joined by live dance to accompany a few songs in Bon Odori style. From Kagura dance to Minyo, Ohayashi and taiko pieces – we covered a broad spectrum of styles and musical traditions.
It was a great pleasure to perform for our seniors there and I was greeted by many who knew me from the time I was just a little boy. I was reminded of a sense of community and the important role that is played in fostering music as a part of our common heritage.