PTK is an enthusiastic group of taiko players formed from the students of the professional taiko group Fushicho Daiko. They perform annually at the second largest Matsuri in the USA in Phoenix Arizona, at the Arizona Asian Festival and whenever else the opportunity presents!
Phoenix is frequently blessed with performances by well known and highly regarded Taiko ensembles at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, the Mesa Arts Center, ASU’s Gammage Auditorium in Tempe or slightly farther afield in Tucson venues organized by Odaiko Sonora. It is unusual for a year to go by without a visit from Kodo, Yamato, TAIKOPROJECT, San Jose Taiko, TAO, On Ensemble or Shidara somewhere within reach of Phoenix.
In addition Fushicho Daiko and Odaiko Sonora often arrange workshops by some of the finest Japanese and international taiko artists such as members of Kodo, Kenny Endo, San Jose Taiko, Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Shidara and Hiroshima Taiko Hozonkai. We are eager to take advantage of access to these teachers who bring not only great skill and ability to teach, but an inspirational passion for this dramatic and uplifting artform.
We are fortunate in having a unique source for our connection to Taiko. Our founding sensei, Esther Vandecar, lived and worked in Japan for over seven years and learned her taiko directly from groups and teachers firmly rooted in the fabric of Japanese cultural life. Members of our dojo travel to Japan almost every year to keep that connection alive. We are proud to know the provenance of the pieces we play. They range from well known traditional pieces preserved by the Hiroshima Taiko Hozonkai (The Hiroshima Taiko Historical Preservation Society) such as Nicho Daiko, to tiny village traditions such as the two pieces from Nomura-cho in rural Shikoku, to modern post war compositions honouring the traditional bravery and martial skill of the navy of the Kono clan – the five pieces known collectively as ‘Suigun Daiko’ (Naval Taiko). Our own embellishments on the repertoire of taiko are as yet modest but we are working on them!