SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Tetshin Daiko, a drum troupe from Oita, Japan will return to Central Texas in early October for an evening performance of their spellbinding talent. The show begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5 on the Evans Auditorium stage at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos.
Tetshin Daiko made their international debut in Austin in 1998. Now they are returning to celebrate 25 years of performing.
The word taiko means both “drum” and “drum troupe.” When the word is part of a performing group’s name it is pronounced “daiko.” Taiko troupes employ a variety of small, medium, and large drums and other percussion instruments to create mesmerizing rhythmic patterns.
Workers at the Sinnittetsu Oita Steel Refinery founded the troupe in 1976. The group’s name can be translated as “Spirit of Iron Workers Drummers.” The 13-member troupe, now comprised of refinery workers, a dentist, a city employee, a builder, and a University of Texas at Austin foreign exchange student, performs music composed by leader Hideo Yamanouchi on themes related to iron manufacturing and to the festivals and nature of their scenic oceanside city. University of Texas at Austin student, Miwa Gardner, has been with the group for the past year while studying at Oita University.
The taiko style has spread around the world, with an estimated 10,000 taikos in Japan and more than 150 troupes in the U.S., of which several are based in Texas.
Tetshin Daiko’s Central Texas tour is sponsored by the Austin-Oita Sister City Committee, a non-profit, volunteer group founded in 1990 to promote educational, cultural, sports, and business exchange between the two cities. The College of Fine Arts and Communication and the School of Music at SWT are also co-sponsors of the tour.
For more information or a photo of the group, contact Lisa Cruz, SWT public information specialist, at (512) 245-2180.