Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Roy and PJ Hirabayashi

This week's podcast introduces us to two of the 2011 National Heritage Fellows: Roy and PJ Hirabayashi, the founders of San Jose Taiko. The couple combines the traditional rhythms of Japanese drumming with musical and cultural influences from around the world. San Jose Taiko merges music with choreography, requiring its members to possess not only a sense of rhythm, but physical strength, endurance, and energy. With San Jose Taiko, Roy and PJ Hirabayashi have helped create a new Asian-American art form. You can see them perform at the National Heritage Concert in Bethesda, Maryland, on September 23, but if you can't make it, not to worry---we're webcasting it live! Click here for more information about this free event and the live webcast.

In the meanwhile, here's a clip of the company performing while Roy Hirabayshi explains what makes San Jose Taiko distinctive. [1:13]

[audio:http://artworks.arts.gov/wp-content/uploads/Hirabayashi-blog.mp3]

[transcript]

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