Vinton Library welcomes Tampa Taiko; Red Herring Puppets will visit July 7

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Ron Collins (right) with Tampa Taiko presented an interactive program on Japanese drums at the Vinton Library on June 30.

Tampa Taiko visited the Vinton Library on June 30 with a program on the history of Taiko (Japanese drums) and an interactive performance by Ron Collins in a continuing series of family-oriented events.

Collins renamed his performance “Vinton Taiko,” with he and members of the audience all playing “Big Loud Drums.” The performance was held on the ground level patio at the library.

Tampa Taiko is based in Florida. Collins and his wife Rebecca are traveling the East Coast this summer performing mainly in libraries out of a vehicle loaded with their handmade Taiko drums— made from barrels.

Collins taught the children attending some Japanese words, and reminded them of several they already knew: konichiwa (hello), sayonara (goodbye), tsunami (seismic wave), sushi, Toyota, Honda, Subaru, and Sudoku. He also reminded their parents of one they might recognize: “Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto, ” from a song by the group Styx in 1992.

Collins covered the history of Japanese Taiko drums, which he explained are over 1,000 years old and were used for celebrations, in communication (before the Internet) and festival competitions, and to frighten enemies away.

He demonstrated the limited notes that can be played on Taiko drums, performed several songs himself, and then invited the children and families to join him in playing the drums.

Next up on the family programs schedule are the Red Herring Puppets: Adventures in Folklore on July 7 at 2 p.m. and the annual visit from the Balloon Lady on July 17 at 10:30 a.m.

More photos are available on The Vinton Messenger Facebook page.