Obon Festival to Feature Taiko Drums, Dancing

Obon Festival Featured Performer Ken Koshio with stretched out arms and a drum looking over a city.
Taiko Master Ken Koshio will be among the featured performers Saturday
at Kalamazoo College’s Obon Festival.

Kalamazoo College will host a Japanese cultural festival on Saturday that traditionally is held to commemorate deceased ancestors as their spirits return to visit their relatives. 

The Obon Festival, the first of its kind at K, will feature Bon dancing, Japanese martial arts and taiko drums with Japanese Taiko Master Ken Koshio, along with crafts and food. The event is presented by K’s International Percussion Ensemble, a group that features a West African ensemble and Caribbean steelpans in addition to Japanese taiko. 

K’s taiko group will perform with the Michigan Hiryu Daiko drumming group, the Japanese instrumental group Sakura and Fort Wayne Taiko. The free event will be conducted on the Quad from 2 to 5 p.m. with the Dalton Theatre in Light Fine Arts reserved as the rain site.  

For more information on this performance, contact Susan Lawrence in the Department of Music at 269.337.7070 or Susan.Lawrence@kzoo.edu

WMUK interview: Hear from Ken Koshio and Carolyn Koebel of the Michigan Hiryu Daiko Taiko Drummers.