Learn about Taiko drumming at Keach Park on Thursday

Hokuto Taiko Dojo founder and instructor Jason Seymore (center) teaches a group of first-timers about Japanese Taiko drumming at his dojo in Londonderry. He'll be teaching and performing at Keach Park this Thursday at 6 p.m. Courtesy of Hokuto Taiko Dojo
Hokuto Taiko Dojo founder and instructor Jason Seymore (center) teaches a group of first-timers about Japanese Taiko drumming at his dojo in Londonderry. He'll be teaching and performing at Keach Park this Thursday at 6 p.m. Courtesy of Hokuto Taiko Dojo

The city of Concord hosts dozens of concerts, both outdoors and in, all throughout the summer. It seems like you can catch some sort of show just about every day around here.

But it isn’t too often that you can take in a musical show while also learning a thing or two about music, culture and performance. That’s why you’d be wise to get over to Keach Park and/or the new City Wide Community Center (they’re still working on exactly where the show will take place) on Canterbury Road on Thursday for a one-of-a-kind free performance.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jason Seymore, founder and instructor at Hokuto Taiko Dojo in Londonderry, will both perform and teach about Taiko, a Japanese style of drumming. This will be a chance for spectators to learn a little bit about Taiko drumming as well as hear what it sounds like.

“We were asked to perform there,” Seymore said. “Our school is going to be there to perform and provide an educational workshop, (with) 30 minutes of a lecture-based component on Japanese drumming, the history of it and how it migrated to America. Then we’ll go into a workshop where participants will get to try playing the drums themselves to see what it’s like.”

Taiko drumming is done with sticks that are pretty different from the traditional drum sticks you’ve seen rock and pop bands use. Taiko sticks – called bachi in Japanese – don’t have a head, or pronounced tip, on the end. Instead, the stick is just mechanically rounded over at the end. Sometimes the sticks are tapered from end to end, and sometimes the taper is only a few inches long.

If you want to learn more about this type of music, you’ll have to check out the show.

Seymore said the original idea was to have this Taiko drumming session serve as sort of a grand opening ceremony for the new community center. But the city council decided there would be no formal grand opening, so instead this show will serve as one of the city’s summer concerts, a joint effort of Parks and Recreation and the Concord Public Library, which has a presence at the community center.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s still being determined where exactly the event will take place, but it will be in the vicinity of the community center, which seamlessly flows into Keach Park out back, now that the fence has been removed. If it rains, they’ll bring the show inside, said Laura Bryant, recreation supervisor at Parks and Rec.

The event will be free and open to the public. Bring your own lawn chair and/or snacks and drinks if you want!

Author: Jon Bodell

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