Our friends and mentors, Shoji Kameda and Mas Baba (On Ensemble of Los Angeles) joined us for our 20th anniversary concert on Nov 5, 2017 at THE HIDEOUT. Local percussionist and Taiko player Ken Yasui also sat in on a portion of the evening’s set. We performed new versions of our existing catalogue and premiered a few original works, including a vocal round arranged by new member Anabel Hirano and a new composition by Donny Ha that combines trombone, fue, vocals and chappa. Jason and Emily from Ho Etsu also joined Shoji and Mas on a few On Ensemble numbers, representing the continued sharing and strong collaboration between the two ensembles. With different approaches and influences, each ensemble showcased the flexibility and evolution of taiko music.
We chose THE HIDEOUT as the venue for this special performance because of its legendary place in the history of Chicago’s music scene. This venue has been the iconic music room for Chicago’s jazz and blues artists for decades. The intimate setting allowed us to relax and interact with the audience resulting in a richer musical experience – we could think of no better way to celebrate our journey of 20 years.
Oh, we also hired an amazing production team to capture the evening! With first-time Ho Etsu collaborator Joe Lim at the helm of the video production team, we will be releasing videos of full songs in the coming months. Ben Standage, Ho Etsu’s long time collaborator on sound engineering, was present to help us capture clean audio tracks (15-member band on a stage made for 4…not an easy task). And thanks to Christine Humbach, we have all these beautiful photos to share!
Earlier this year, Ho Etsu celebrated our 20th anniversary with an intimate show at The Hideout, a legendary Chicago music venue. Our long-time music mentors Shoji Kameda and Mas Baba of On Ensemble joined us onstage, along with guest artist Ken Yasui.
The incredible support of our crowd and our collaborators made for a ton of memorable moments. Luckily, we caught one of them on camera. Watch our live performance of Lion Chant, composed by Shoji Kameda. Many thanks to our video team, led by Joseph Lim, and our favorite sound engineer Ben Standage for making everything look and sound so good.