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Brooklyn-based Taiko Masala Performs Japanese Drum Concert Oct. 20

The Japanese Cultural Association at Plattsburgh is sponsoring Taiko Masala in concert Saturday, Oct. 20, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall.

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Taiko Masala performs across the country in concert, at schools, museums and festivals. Their arsenal of instruments — all hand made by the ensemble — ranges from small eight-inch hand-held drums, to five-foot barrel drums and features the giant 250-pound O-daiko.

Taiko, Japanese for “big drums,” is a relatively modern revival of ancient Japanese drumming traditions. Originally developed in India, the drums were used in religious ceremony to represent the voice of Buddha.

Taiko quickly became part of Japanese culture. Spiritual healers played taiko to dispel evil spirits and drive insects from rice fields. Samurai used the drums to instill fear in the enemy and courage in themselves. And villagers used taiko in their prayers for rain and in thanksgiving for the harvest.

Opening for Taiko Masala is SUNY Plattsburgh’s Minor Adjustments a cappella group and the Plattsburgh Japanese punk rock band, Seaweed Suckers. Tickets, available in advance at the Angell College Center desk and at the door before the show, are $3 for SUNY Plattsburgh students with ID, $5 for all others.

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