The pounding of Taiko drums reverberated throughout the Newark Museum on Monday, March 23, 2015, as San Jose Taiko introduced the Newark community to the spectacular art of taiko drumming.

San Jose Taiko has mesmerized audiences and critics alike with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of taiko, the Japanese drum. Inspired by traditional Japanese drumming, company performers express the beauty and harmony of the human spirit through the voice of the taiko as they strive to create new dimensions in music and movement.

San Jose Taiko was founded in 1973 by young Asian Americans searching for an outlet to convey their experiences as third generation Japanese Americans, or Sansei. Looking to Japan for inspiration, they were drawn to the empowering sounds of the taiko, the Japanese drum, an instrument that embodies the spiritual essence and heartbeat of Japan. Since then, San Jose Taiko has become a world-class ensemble, performing extensively both nationally and internationally, reaching more than 75,000 audience members each year. By studying with masters of other traditions and cultures, the musicians of San Jose Taiko have broadened and embellished this historical art form into a style that joins the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with the beat of world rhythms, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin and Jazz. With a deep respect for cultural traditions, San Jose Taiko is dedicated to the advancement of taiko through innovative performances and outstanding educational programs, and use the power and beauty of taiko to transcend cultural barriers and foster a greater understanding of Japanese American culture. For more information, visit the San Jose Taiko website Here.

“Rhythm Journey” was presented by the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience and co-sponsored by the Newark Museum.