Ever since I discovered the Hiryu Project several years ago, I have been wanting to participate and submit a video from Calgary. The Conservatory at MRU was very supportive of this idea, and this year it became a reality!
The Hiryu Project celebrates the life of Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi, who was a jazz drummer who is credited with the creation of kumidaiko, or ensemble taiko drumming, that has exploded in popularity around the world. "Not only in celebration of his life and his commitment to spreading taiko around the world, but also in the spirit of taiko, to communicate and share together through playing taiko."
This year, the event was open to anyone who wanted to learn. I was surprised and excited that sixteen students registered, many of them had never played taiko before, and several of them young children! We spent an intense two hours together, learning basic technique, and then we learned the main phrase of Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi together. We were not able to learn the entire piece, but this was a great start to (what I hope will become) an annual event in Calgary. As the program grows, and more people learn taiko, this project will also grow.