Isaku and his Music _ back from Berklee

It’s always great to have your child back home.
But Isaku on vacation from his studies at Berklee College of Music brought back something special: His music that is moving on in new directions.
He kept busy during his couple of weeks in Tokyo.
He played with Winchester Nii Tete, a brilliant percussionist from Ghana.
He is also having some fun with great Japanese musicians he met in Boston.

The journey never stops.
It’s a journey about your Self and your Life and your Art.
And so it keeps going and gets better _ if your Soul and Spirit and Mind are in the Right Place.
It is so very sad to see him leave _ to continue his studies at Berklee.
But it is my joy and pride to know Isaku not just as the son I love but also as a powerful musician with a vision that I also believe in, and I believe the world’s top artists share.
Come home again soon.

A Song for Aung San Suu Kyi

Isaku is in another Berklee College of Music project _ this time a tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi:
Music & Lyrics Sara Gamon, Arrangement Galen Willett, Lead Vocal Tiffany Wilson, Ensemble Shilpa Ananth, A.A. Enriquez, Joanne Jett Galindo, Yun Huang, James Miring’u Kamwati, Minako Yabe, Rendra Zawawi, Congas Enø & Judith Soberanes, Drumset Andrés Marín, Bass Galen Willett, Guitar Nat Svecha Saralamba, Taiko Drums Isaku Kageyama, Auxiliary Percussion Yuki Kanesaka, Andrés Marín, Sean Peters, Galen Willett. Produced by Sara Gamon, Mixed and Mastered by Takuto Kaneko, Video by Paulette Waltz. Thanks to Berklee College of Music.

ROTU (Rhythm of the Universe) at Berklee College of Music

Trailer for a project at Berklee College of Music in Boston, created and led by Emir Cerman, that brings together musicians from around the world including Isaku Kageyama .

Talking TAIKO Book party in San Francisco

Film by Yoshiaki Tago


Photos by Annette Dorfman

Film by Yoshiaki Tago.

Talking TAIKO Book party for “The New and Selected Yuri _ Writing From Peeling Till Now” at Yoshi’s in San Francisco MON Aug. 15, 2011.
An evening of poetry by Yuri Kageyama with music by The Yuricane:
Eric Kamau Gravatt (drums), Makoto Horiuchi (guitar, musical director), Isaku Kageyama (taiko, percussion), Hiroyuki Shido (bass), Glen Pearson (keyboards), Ashwut Rodriguez (guitar).
Special Guests: Ishmael Reed, Tennessee Reed and Carla Blank.
A firsthand report in Jazz Advance: Borderless Poetics: Taiko Meets Jazz at My Book Party.

Reading at a San Francisco book store

Reading at a San Francisco book store TUE Aug. 16, 2011 with (from left to right) Yoshiaki Tago (filmmaker), Hiroyuki Shido (bass), Eric Kamau Gravatt (drums), Makoto Horiuchi (guitar), Yuri Kageyama (poet) and Isaku Kageyama (percussion, taiko).
Photos by Annette Dorfman.
The best thing about the reading was that Milton Murayama, author of “All I Asking For Is My Body,” whom I had not seen in years, came with his wife Dawn because he saw it in The San Francisco Chronicle.
He told me the day he would stop writing is the day he dies.
So much like Milton _ still the same after all these years.
He had that same twinkle in his eye when he said those words like a promise.
Death can’t be all bad if we can keep writing till the day we die.

Taiko _ both American and Japanese

Taiko takes a freeer American fun festive flair at the North American Taiko Conference at the “Taiko Ten” outdoor concert at Stanford University FRI Aug. 19, 2011. Isaku Kageyama played with his fellow yonsei and other friend taiko drummers Masato Baba, Yuta Kato, Shoji Kameda, Jen Baik and Chris Bergstrom.
Taiko is at once American and Japanese, fun and free, and plain good music.

Reading also at a bookstore

We are also at The Booksmith in The Haight the following day TUE Aug. 16, 2011.

Amanojaku taiko in “Jazz Advance”

I wrote about taiko as modern music and how Tokyo taiko legend was made by Yoichi Watanabe in this piece on Amanojaku for “Jazz Advance.”

Isaku takes taiko to another place

Isaku Kageyama believes taiko must claim its legitimate place in the world of great music.
Japanese culture is beautiful.
But unless Japan can be part of the world and see its place in the true sense _ with all the duties, responsibilities as well as rewards involved _ it won’t work.
Art is a way of facing up to that important and universal Question _ and maybe one of the few ways where there is a true Answer.
Luis Silva made this multicultural video statement in his gorgeous documentary for WeAllJapan, that says it all.

mix of taiko beats out the new in familiar sounds

Click on this, “Midare Uchi” to watch on YouTube in a rare collaboration by drummers from three Tokyo groups plus a kawaii guest.
from the recent BEAT AHEAD at Roppongi’s SuperDeluxe in Tokyo starring Isaku Kageyama of Amanojaku, Yuu Ishizuka of Bachiatari and Makoto Sekine of Medetai.
Below, they join forces on “Bujin” the trademark Amanojaku piece by master composer Yoichi Watanabe.
Click on this to see that _ also on YT as the embedding isn’t working for some reason.