Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Mu Daiko Performs at The Cowles Center in Minneapolis, November 8-11, 2012

Mu Daiko, Minnesota’s premier taiko drumming ensemble, performs in The Goodale Theater of The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Thursday, November 8 – Sunday, November 11, 2012 (Preview, Nov. 8 at 7:30 pm). The concert is directed by Mu Daiko Artistic Director Iris Shiraishi, who has led the ensemble since 2011. The concert also marks the last taiko concert with Rick Shiomi as Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts, and Shiraishi has created a medley of works composed by Shiomi in his honor. Tickets are $14-$34 including fees and can be purchased online or by calling 612.206.3600. The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts is located at 528 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN.

Mu Daiko

Mu Daiko

Rick Shiomi (Photo by Lia Chang)

Rick Shiomi (Photo by Lia Chang)

Rick Shiomi steps down as Mu’s Artistic Director in August of 2013. Audiences are invited to a pre-show reception on opening night (Friday, November 9 at 6pm) to honor Shiomi’s contribution to taiko in Minnesota. The reception will take place in The Cowles Center lobby and will feature The McKnight Foundation’s Vickie Benson who will speak about Mu’s impact on the local arts community.

Founded in early 1997 by Shiomi, Mu Daiko’s first performance was at the Lyn-Lake Festival. Since then, Mu Daiko has attracted a loyal and expanding audience with its annual concerts and has been instrumental in bringing nationally-renowned taiko artists to the Twin Cities, including Kenny Endo, the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, On Ensemble, Fubuki Daiko, and Kaoru Watanabe. Mu Daiko members have performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, around the state, and across the country. Highlights include the National Taiko Conference (L.A., 2005), the Southern Arizona Taiko Showcase (Tucson, 2006), the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver, 2006), and Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, 2007). Earlier this year, Mu Daiko celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a record-setting concert and Minnesota tour featuring guest artists, Hanayui, from Japan.

Join Mu Daiko immediately following the evening’s performance on November 10th for an informal talkback session. Meet the company, learn more about the artistic process and ask questions about Mu Daiko and taiko drumming.

November 8 at 7:30 pm (Preview, $18 Adults, $10 Students)
November 9 at 7:30 pm ($30 Adults, $10 students)
Pre-show reception in honor of Rick Shiomi: November 9 at 6:00 pm in The Cowles Center lobby.
November 10 at 2:00 pm
November 10 at 7:30 pm
November 11 at 2:00 pm

About Mu Daiko
Mu Daiko was founded in early 1997 by Mu Performing Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi. Shiomi began his taiko career with Katari Taiko in Vancouver in the late 1970s, and has also studied and performed with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, New York’s Soh Daiko, and Wasabi Daiko of Toronto. His initial classes attracted students from both Mu actors and the general public, culminating in Mu Daiko’s first performance in August 1997 at the Lyn-Lake Festival. The professional taiko ensemble performs a variety of traditional and contemporary works, ranging from traditional taiko repertoire to original pieces composed by its members. The group regularly premieres new work at its annual performances, continuing to stretch the boundaries of the art form and contributing to the innovation of American taiko. Members participate in over 100 educational and concert performances annually for schools, community organizations, and corporations throughout Minnesota and the Midwest. Through studio classes and school residencies over the past decade, the Mu Performing Arts taiko program has taught thousands of students of all ages and abilities.

About The Cowles Center
The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts (501(c) 3) is the Twin Cities’ newest arts center and the flagship for dance in Minnesota. Centrally located in downtown Minneapolis, The Cowles Center includes the newly refurbished 500-seat Goodale Theater; the Hennepin Center for the Arts, home to 20 leading dance and performing arts organizations; the state-of-the-art Target Education Studio, housing The Cowles Center’s distance learning program; and the new U.S. Bank Atrium. The Cowles Center fills the need for a place that is a catalyst for the creation, presentation, education, enjoyment and celebration of dance and the performing arts in the Twin Cities. The 2012/13 Season is presented by U.S. Bank with additional support from Ascent Private Capital Management and The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank

Other articles on Mu Performing Arts:
Mu Performing Arts’ Artistic Director Rick Shiomi takes home Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement
Up Close and Personal with Rick Shiomi, Award-winning Playwright & Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Mu’s landmark 21st Season features a brand new Taiko Concert, Lauren Yee’s The Tiger Among Us, and Rick Shiomi’s Award-Winning comedy Yellow Fever
Rick Shiomi helms Mu Performing Arts’ Asian American Cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, July 17-August 5, 2012
Randy Reyes Embraces his Passion for Storytelling as an Actor, Director and Theater Educator
Randy Reyes directs Mu Performing Arts’ production of EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM by A. Rey Pamatmat at Mixed Blood Theatre, March 13-April 1, 2012
Mu Performing Arts’ Little Shop of Horrors on 2 ‘Best of’ Lists; Women in Arts Panel on 1/29, in Conjunction with Mu Daiko’s 15th Anniversary Concert and Tour
Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert and Minnesota Tour, February 9-19, 2012
Photos: Opening Night of Mu Performing Arts’ Katie Hae Leo’s Four Destinies
Photos: Backstage at Mu Performing Arts’ Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Temple Press: Rick Shiomi recounts his tour for “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”
Mu Blog: Rick Shiomi’s Book Tour Logbook Reading on the road inside the book tour Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
“Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, A New Anthology of Asian American Plays Is Subject of Book Talk
Click here for more articles on Rick Shiomi.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Playing Lady Thiang in the Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I is a dream come true for Christine Toy Johnson
Photos: Q & A with Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, The King in Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I
Greg Watanabe, Julyana Soelistyo and Jennifer Lim Lead the Cast of Signature Theatre’s Production of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, October 23-December 2, 2012
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
Raul Aranas, Kate Baldwin, Brian d’Arcy James, P.J. Griffith, Bobby Steggert and Michele Pawk Set for New York Premiere of GIANT at The Public Theater, October 26-December 2, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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