Asia Society Presents! Shoji Kameda, Kaoru Watanabe, and Sumie Kaneko Trio
Kicking off our 2013-14 performing arts seasons are multi-instrumentalists Shoji Kameda and Kaoru Watanabe. These leading lights of Japanese music in the United States are known for infusing traditional taiko and flute with jazz and world music elements such as Central Asian throat singing. With music described as “completely original and brilliantly conceived,” they are at the forefront of young musicians who seamlessly bridge East and West, old and new. These sonic adventurers have invited virtuoso koto player Sumie Kaneko to join them for a not-to-be missed evening of music designed to complement the exhibition Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku.
Enjoy free admission to the Sarofim Gallery now showing Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yusaku, open until the start of the program for registered ticket holders.
About the Featured Artists
Shoji Kameda is a Grammy nominated musician, composer, and producer. He started playing taiko at the age of 8 and has played continuously since. In 2006, he was selected through a highly competitive process as an Asian Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) fellow, collaborating with master artists from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the USA. He produced On Ensemble’s critically acclaimed CDs Dust and Sand and Ume in the Middle and composed an original score for Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story, Audience Award winner for Best Documentary at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival. Shoji was featured in the music of the hit NBC TV show Heroes performed with Stevie Wonder at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and received a Grammy nomination as a member of the jazz fusion band Hiroshima for his work on their album Legacy. He has collaborated with musicians from around the world including projects and tours to Malaysia, Java, Bali, Mongolia, and French Guiana. He continues to be involved in a number of projects as a composer, musician and producer including a trip-hop duo with Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin called Stereo Alchemy.
Brooklyn based fue (Japanese flute) and taiko player Kaoru Watanabe was born into a musical family. Both of his parents play with the St. Louis Symphony. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Manhattan School of Music, Kaoru got his start playing taiko in St. Louis then later with the New York based group Soh Daiko. In 1998, Kaoru moved to Sado Island to become an apprentice with Kodo. He became the first American to become a performing member of the internationally renowned group and spent six years touring around the world with the ensemble. In due course he become Artistic Director of Earth Celebration, Kodo’s annual world music festival held in Sado every summer. In 2006, Kaoru left Kodo for New York City and has quickly become one of the most sought after fue and taiko players in North America.
Presenting Sponsor: Bank of America