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Inwood Moves to the Beat of Japanese Drums at Annual Taikoza Concert

By Carla Zanoni | August 30, 2010 8:10am

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

INWOOD — Tiny tikes and grown-ups grooved to the beat of five drums Sunday night in Isham Park as neighbors gathered for Inwood’s sixth annual Japanese drum performance by Taikoza.

The internationally-known band, whose music centers on the sound of the fat Japanese barrel-shaped drum called a taiko, gives its annual free performance at the end of the summer to introduce people of all ages to the rhythmic and large music.

“We like to expose people from other parts of city to something different they normally don’t get to experience,” said Inwood resident Marco Lienhard, who leads the group.

“The drums are an amazing way for people to communicate without language,” he added. “You don’t need words to understand them.”

In addition to the drums, Taikoza incorporates other traditional Japanese instruments, including bamboo flutes called the shakuhachi and fue and a 13-string instrument called a koto.

The performance enthralled children with its mixture of theater and booming sound by dancer Chikako Saito and drummers Lienhard, Yoshiko Taniguchi, Kenji Nakano, Elizabeth Mc Donald and Marguerite Bunyan.

But the fun was not relegated to the little ones. Zoila Rojas, 22, came from Brooklyn to hear the concert with a group of 10 female friends.

“I like the power of the drums, the rhythm,” Rojas said. “We have a group of women here who are all Hispanic and I have no idea of why it is, but it speaks to me, to us.”