Japanese Vocal and Chant Workshop with Toronto artist Aki Takahashi at Rhythm Industry Performance Factory

Vocalist/singer Aki Takahashi (from Odaiko Sonora's website)
Vocalist/singer Aki Takahashi (from Odaiko Sonora’s website)

Odaiko Sonora (taiko drumming group) hosts this event on September 6, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rhythm Industry Performance Center.

“In preparation for All Souls Procession (ASP) on November 9, Odaiko Sonora invites you to join the first ever Viral Chant Group. We’ve commissioned the chant from Toronto artist Aki Takahashi, who you may remember from February’s amazing shamisen concert atYume Japanese Gardens.

We want the chant to spread through the crowd in the last few minutes of the ASP finale. For this, we need some volunteers to “seed” the crowd. Aki, who is one of Odaiko Sonora’s guest artists for the finale, has agreed to come in advance to train people in Japanese vocal technique and learn the chant. The Chant Workshop runs 12:30-2:00pm and is FREE (though we’ll pass a hat).”

Aki will be performing a traditional minyo (Japanese folk) style chant.

The Rhythm Industry Performance Factory is located at 1013 S. Tyndall Ave. (just south of the SE corner of E. 20th and Tyndall Ave., west of Campbell Ave.)

 More information about Japanese cultural events in Tucson, go to our website, www.southernazjapan.org (where I am the Editor).

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. About 35 people attended this novel workshop at which Aki and friend Kyle Abbot first performed some traditional folk music on the shamisen and taiko drums. Then Aki lead the workshop to teach us participants how to vocalize from our bellies to perform the minyo chant for All Souls. We practiced the sounds (with no meaning per Aki) several times, in rounds. Very interesting, to visualize these chants being used in Old Japan, as part of a work team.

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