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IN THIS ISSUE...
Calendar of Events
Sunday, April 3rd. We drum around 11 am
Wednesday, April 6th for school groups
Sunday, April 6. Watsonville Buddhist Temple
Saturday April 16 at 7:30
Sunday April 17th at 2:30
Crocker Theater, Cabrillo College, Aptos
Saturday, April 23. We drum mid-day
Sunday, April 24th.  Sold out, but click the link to see what our day is like!
Saturday, May 7. A very important fundraiser for our group.  You can make a pledge of support beginning March 28th

We have some dates available in May. If you are interested in booking Watsonville Taiko, send an email to info@WatsonvilleTaiko.org 
Thanks to our 2016  Donors!
Thanks so much to local organizations and businesses who have contributed to Watsonville Taiko this spring! Your support makes it possible for us to continue bringing taiko to the community. 
Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, Aquatic Vet Service, Bay Federal Credit Union, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Burkhart Investment Group, E.G. Hammond Consulting, Hinoki Taiko, Japanese American Citizens League, Kaito/Sushi Market, Land of the Medicine Buddha, Lyn Ackley Yoga, Miyuki Restaurant , O'Neill's, Outrigger Santa Cruz, Palace Arts, Paper Vision, Sandoshin Taiko, Santa Cruz Ballet Theater, Shinsho-Mugen Daiko, Silkscreen Express,  Sushi Q, Taiko Joe Bowes, Tokyo Oriental Food, Wild Thyme Botanical, Yamashita Market 
Watsonville Taiko is a 501-c3 
 Non-Profit Corporation.
Tax ID# 77-0355439
Watsonville Taiko is grateful for the ongoing support including
funding from the Arts Council Santa Cruz
 
Spring is upon us, which means it is time to get busy drumming! As you can see from our calendar of events, we have a very busy April including our 25th Anniversary Concert. This year's production, Eventide over Momoyama, is a multigenerational celebration of life's journey. Each person on this journey passes through life stages, gathering gifts of wisdom while seeking the fire of life. Our drummers, from age 7 to 77, have found their fire through drumming. Join us for this 90 minute celebration of life, energy, and the power of taiko. It should be an incredible weekend.
A Brief History
    Watsonville Taiko was founded 25 years ago by Jim Hooker. A taiko drumming community of performers and supporters, the group's goal is to strive through exploration of taiko to develop an art that combines drumming with folklore, mythology and symbolism. Taiko as folk art is emphasized because it places value on joining with others to keep traditions alive.  
     Early on, members of San Francisco Taiko Dojo came to Watsonville as our first instructors. Once we had the basics down, we took off on our own and never looked back. 
Sensei models the original Watsonville Taiko t-shirt
     In 1992 Ikuyo Conant accepted the position of Artistic Director, a position she holds to this day. She began composing original pieces for the group. Today beginner drummers learn ten of her pieces, intermediate drummers a dozen more, and advanced drummers perform even more elaborate pieces.  
     Ikuyo created Shinsei Daiko,  a youth drumming and performing arts group , in 1996, and in 1999 she established Shinsho Mugen Daiko in Monterey. In 2000, she received the Calabash Award, and the following year she received the Gail Rich Award from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County.  
     Over the past 25 years Watsonville Taiko has become an important part of the arts scene in the Monterey Bay area. Many of our performances happen every year including festivals at Watsonville's Buddhist Temple, the Japanese Cultural Fair, and the Cabrillo/Church Street Fair. Next December we will again be part of Watsonville's multi-cultural holiday tree lighting.  We also performed there in 1999! 
     Supporting other non-profits is a large part of our mission each year.  From drumming for the Wharf to Wharf which supports school athletics to Jacob's Heart's events for kids with cancer, we love community performances.  The stage may be the beach when drumming for the Alzheimer Association's Memory Walk or the Crocker Theater when collaborating with the Santa Cruz Ballet Theater. But no matter where we drum or when we drum, we drum because it gives us joy and purpose, and because we love it.  We hope you have come to love it as well.
Meet the Drummers
Watsonville Taiko attracts drummers from all walks of life.  Most of us have other lives and careers outside of the world of taiko.  This is part 2 in an ongoing series of articles introducing you to some of our members.
Suzee Grilley
Meet Suzee Grilley, Watsonville Taiko drummer. When not drumming, Suzee assists her husband, Paul Grilley, leading yoga teacher training programs.
She is a former member of the Nikolais Dance Theatre, and former Artistic Director of the Suzee Grilley Dance Ensemble, which was based in Ashland, OR. She moved to Watsonville to study with sensei Ikuyo Conant. We are so lucky! (and yes, you will see her dance in our anniv ersary show)
Suzee says, "I find satisfaction in spending my time rehearsing, refining and discovering ways to express the music. I find most of life's mundane demands tedious. I feel fortunate that most of my waking hours have been spent in a studio creating, solving, practicing and performing."
 
Meet Denise Hasegawa, taiko drummer. She joined our sister organization, Shinsho Mugen Daiko, in February 2000. Her first Watsonville Taiko anniversary show was in October of that year. She says, "16 years ago--yikes! First performance, standing on stage --I could not believe I had actually volunteered for such a terrifying experience. But after--utter exhilaration! We played Shukusei --3rd song on Blue Dragon CD. We practiced all year learning that piece. I remember being very impressed with Karen Groppi's smile and energy (she still has it!) and with the kids (Shinsei Daiko). I drum because I love it. And over the years I have come to love it for more reasons. I have learned about my body and how to take care of it--thank you Sensei Ikuyo. I hope to drum with you for many, many more years. I have learned confidence or to fake it. And I have met great people!"