Sonoma County Matsuri is back! Demonstrations of taiko drumming, folk dance and music, martial arts, ikebana, and mochi pounding will be held throughout the day on an outdoor stage or the lawn. The festival will also feature Japanese art and cultural exhibits, clothing, food, children’s activity table, origami, and more! Admission is free. Fun for all ages.
Matsuri 2023 is funded in part by the City of Santa Rosa Event Support Program.
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Click on the flyer to see the full program.
11:00 Hideaki & Hitomi - Hachijo Daiko
11:15 Welcome/ Introductions with M.C. Chris Smith and Remarks from Honored Guests
11:30 Ten Ten Taiko & Friends - Shinto Dance and Taiko
12:15 Cotati Aikido - Aikido Demonstration
12:45 Ensohza Minyoshu - Traditional Folk Music and Dance
1:30 Deleon Judo Club - Judo Demonstration
2:00 Hideaki & Hitomi - Hachijo Daiko with Audience Participation
2:45 Bay Area Miyake - Miyake-style Taiko Drumming
3:15 Sakura Ren - Traditional Awa Odori Folk Music and Dance
4:00 Sonoma County Taiko - Taiko Drumming
4:45 Closing Remarks
2:00 Mochitsuki - Machi Pounding Demonstration with Audience Participation
12:00 Ikebana - The Japanese Art of Flower Arranging with Ron Koda Brown
2:00 Edo Ensemble (Shakuhachi & Kato music) Elliot Kanshin Kallen and Naoko
3:30 Ikebana - The Japanese Art of Flower Arranging with Ron Kodo Brown
All Day Children’s Activity Booth (12) - Sponsored by Exchange Bank Sebastopol, Staffed by Sebastopol World Friends volunteers
Hideaki started to play taiko with Soh Daiko in New York City from 1995 and Hitomi joined the group in 1999. During those years they had a chance to perform with some taiko players from Hachijo Island and fell in love with their taiko style. They went to Hachijo to immerse themselves in the Hachijo style and there, Hideaki and Hitomi learned their unique and individual style directly from the islanders. The Hachijo style can be learned and enjoyed by anyone, and they encourage you to experience it for yourself. Since 2007 Hideaki and Hitomi have made Sonoma County their home.
For more than a decade, the Edo Ensemble has been delighting audiences with the traditional Japanese classical music that spans the past 300 years. The duo consists of: Elliot Kanshin Kallen: Kanshin plays the shakuhachi, the traditional, end-blown bamboo flute. Playing the shakuhachi in a wide variety of contexts, he can be heard in performance throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. He performs, teaches, and does workshops on Japanese music and the shakuhachi from his home base in Santa Rosa. Naoko: Naoko has been playing koto since the age of six, and is the student of Koji Kikuhara, the successor to the late Living National Treasure, Hatsuko Kikuhara. Naoko passed her professional certification exam within the Todo Music Association in 1987. She plays Nogawa-style Jiuta shamisen and Ikuta-style koto and has performed throughout the United States since 1994. She teaches from her home in Davis, California.
A long-time fixture in the Bay Area world of lkebana, Ron Brown brings innovative, inspiring enthusiasm to lkebana audiences and his students. He began his studies in Sogetsu lkebana in 1979 with Burleigh Fedanzo, then became a student of Shuko Kobayashi, with whom he studied until Kobayashi-sensei’s retirement. In 2007, Ron became a student of Kika Shibata, and continues to study with her today. Ron holds the rank of Koman. In April of 2017 Ron went to Japan for the 90th anniversary celebrations of founding of the Sogetsu School where he received the Akane Teshigahara Overseas award. Ron is the Director of the Sogetsu San Francisco Bay Area Branch and a member of the Sogetsu Teacher’s Association in Tokyo. Ron makes his home in Cloverdale, California.
Sonoma County Taiko is a community-based non-profit organization, whose mission is “building a community of acceptance, harmony, and respect through our love of taiko:’ Sonoma County Taiko has been sharing the cultural and musical aspects of Japanese taiko drumming with the communities in San Francisco Bay Area and the North Bay since 1995. Sonoma CountyTaiko offers performances at schools and festivals as well as cultural and private events. It also offers classes and workshops to people of all ages and abilities.
Formed in 2006, Ensohza is a traditional Japanese folk-performing ensemble based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They perform music that evokes the festival spirit and character of Japan’s diverse rural communities. With lively vocals accompanied by fue and shakuhachi (bamboo flutes), shamisen (a stringed instrument) and the beat of the taiko drum, Ensohza transports you to Japan’s mountain and fishing villages with traditional folk songs and festival dance music.
Ten Ten Taiko is a troupe of Japanese women (plus one man) who have been performing together since 2006. They are joined for todays performance by longtime friends Hideaki and Hitomi. Their studio is located in Petaluma, CA. Ten Ten Taiko’s repertoire spans many styles and many centuries - from traditional Shinto ritual music and dance to contemporary pieces showcasing both ancient and modern forms of taiko. They play and dance gracefully, often in fabulous vintage costumes and masks.
Sakura-Ren has been performing Awa-Odori, a traditional Japanese dance, in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013. Always an audience favorite, Sakura-Ren’s brilliant traditional costumes and high energy never fail to enchant and engage Matsuri’s attendees.
Bay Area Miyake, is a group brought together by Sonoma County Taiko, recipient of Matsuri Scholarship. The scholarship helped them invite teachers from Japan to study the traditional taiko piece Miyake Daiko directly from them.
Cotati Aikido was founded by Ginny and Pete Breeland in 2006. Both Ginny and Pete, 6th Dan Shidoin, are certified as senior instructors by the International Aikikai. They each have been training Takemusu Aikido in excess of 45 years. In their classes they instruct all levels of students.
The 2021 Matsuri Japanese Arts Festival was presented virtually. Click HERE to watch video from the festival.