Welcome to Drumbeats

All of the latest news from Grass Valley Taiko! Use the form at the right to subscribe and stay up to date on what we’re up to!

GVT at the Nevada County Fair

15Join Grass Valley Taiko for 2 performances at the Nevada County Fair! We will be performing on Opening Day, Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 10:30am and Noon on the Pine Tree Stage. Hope to see you there!

See our Event Page for more details.

Grass Valley Taiko at WorldFest

wworldfestCalifornia WorldFest 2016 is happening this weekend! The Festival takes place July 14-17, 2016 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. Grass Valley Taiko will be there, will you? See our performance and workshop schedule below and visit California WorldFest for more info about the Festival.

Performances:
Friday, July 15, 10:30am on the Discovery Stage
Sunday, July 17, 9:00am on the Global Village Stage
Workshops:
Friday, July 15, 2:00pm at Ponderosa
Saturday, July 16, 5pm at Ponderosa

See you there!

Drum reskinning project starts

Ohigozimus!

First of all, we want to thank everyone who contributed to our recent crowdsourcing campaign to raise money to reskin several of our drums ahead of the upcoming California Worldfest performance next month. We are busy rehearsing for this event and at the same time we’ve started to reskin several of our drums. We’ve used the funds from the campaign to purchase all of the necessary materials to reskin the drumheads which are in the worst condition. All of the drums in our group are handmade, and many are over 10 years old. Playing on them for over a decade has taken its toll on many of the drumheads, resulting in either damage such as holes in the head, or simply a “dead head” (poor sound quality). We want to go on stage at WorldFest with the biggest “thunder” possible.

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Drum skin soaks in water before start of reskinning process.

The reskinning process takes a lot of time and energy over several days to complete for each drum head. This process includes multiple soakings of the raw cowhide which is used for a taiko drum head. Following Mitzi Sensei’s experience and guidance, we employ a combination of traditional Japanese process along with the use of (some) modern tools to complete the process. The use of modern tools helps to accelerate the process and produce a more consistent result.

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The skinning process takes many hands.

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A taiko member tightens ropes during forming process.

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Holes for the tacks are marked with a template to ensure straight and even alignment.

Every member of the group is contributing to the reskinning process and having more hands helps to make the process go faster. We also believe that everyone involved in the process contributes their spirit to the completed drum. So thank you to everyone who contributed.

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Mitzi Sensei puts the first tack into our first completed drum of 2016!

There is still time to help us. If you would like to donate, please use the donate button below to contribute to our drum reskinning project, and we hope to see your smiling face in the audience at WorldFest!

GVT on Front Page of The Union!

Wow! We made the front page of The Union, Nevada County’s local newspaper! Learn more about Grass Valley Taiko and Sensei Mitzi Garnett’s path to get here, including interviews with Mitzi and a couple of other GVT members. Thank you to The Union newspaper and journalist Emily Lavin!

Grass Valley Taiko asks for community’s help to repair drums

Mitzi Garnett, the founder of Grass Valley Taiko, performs with the group at a community event. The group is slated to perform at California WorldFest in July, and is fundraising to help repair some of its most-worn drums.

Mitzi Garnett would hear the beat thumping through her windows every Thursday evening — bum-bum-bumbum-bum-bum.

Garnett, then in her 20s, was serving in the U.S. Marines and living in an apartment in Okinawa, Japan.

“What in the world is that?” she remembers thinking.

One day, she decided to find out. She laced up her running shoes, and took off through the streets of Okinawa, following the noise. read more…

Kodo Arts Warehouse 10th Anniversary

spring+16+showOn Saturday, May 7th, Grass Valley Taiko will help the Kodo Arts Warehouse celebrate its 10th Anniversary in Nevada City with a parking lot performance at 2 pm. We last performed there in 2011 in support of relief efforts for the victims of Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Jake and Yuko are wonderful hosts and we are excited to be there again!  Come help us celebrate and while you’re there, check out the great collection of Japanese Antiques on sale!

WorldFest Drum Head Campaign

In light of our upcoming California WorldFest debut, we are raising funds to replace the heads on several of our drums. We want to leave our impression at the WorldFest stage with the deepest thundering sound possible and that’s where we need your help.

Join our Campaign

OUR DRUMS NEED SOME LOVE!

We build all of our large performing drums out of recycled wine barrels. The process in making a Taiko drum takes several months and involves many hands. It’s a process of labor and love that we feel embodies the spirit of those who help contribute to the making of the drum.

Unfortunately many of our drumheads are beginning to show the wear and tear of having been played over the last 16 years. It costs about $250 to replace a Taiko drumhead, and we need to replace 14 drumheads in our inventory of performing drums.

We would love to have you in the audience at the California Worldfest, supporting us and knowing that you have helped make this performance the best that we can offer. Therefore we are offering you the opportunity to join us by contributing to this crowdfunding campaign.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

If you enjoy our music and the Taiko artform, why not contribute $250 to help us replace a drumhead?

In exchange, we’ll give you a 4-day adult pass to the event (value: $190), along with a Grass Valley Taiko t-shirt to wear at the event, this year’s tenugui** and we’ll engrave your name* on the drumskin so that you can be with us in spirit on stage.

If $250 is too much for your budget, we have other contribution levels and rewards or we’ll take any monetary contribution you’re able to make and help support us in this fundraising effort. We’ll take all the love you can give us…

Join our Campaign

WE NEED TO START NOW

The California Worldfest event is only 3 months away. Rehearsals have started already and we need to work the reskinning project into our busy schedules. We are going to have some busy weekends ahead in order to get the drums in shape for the event. If you are going to contribute, please do it early, so that we can get started on the reskinning project.

Join our Campaign

California WorldFest 2016

wworldfestGrass Valley Taiko is excited to announce that we will be appearing at California WorldFest 2016. The Festival takes place July 14-17, 2016 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. Stay tuned for more details regarding our performance and workshop schedule. Visit California WorldFest for more info about the Festival.