Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers at 2nd Saturday Downtown

Odaiko Sonora performers at Arizona Matsuri 2014 in Phoenix
Odaiko Sonora performers at Arizona Matsuri 2014 in Phoenix

For 12 years Odaiko Sonora has been performing their lively taiko Japanese drumming in Arizona (and elsewhere). I personally know founders Karen Falkenstrom (half Korean) and Rome Hamner (lived in Japan as a teacher for a year), and they have created a wonderful troupe of enthusiastic and talented drummers.

If you haven’t heard them before, this is your big chance to hear them for free  at 2nd Saturdays Downtown on May 10, on the popular Scott Avenue Stage (between Congress St. and Broadway Blvd.) at 6:30 p.m. It will be over an hour’s show till 7:45 p.m. so stop by, pick up some delicious food from the ubiquitous food trucks and enjoy some Japanese music/culture.

They offer classes in taiko drumming, so check out their website, www.tucsontaiko.org.

And for more about 2nd Saturdays Downtown, here’s their website/entertainment schedule for May 10: http://www.2ndsaturdaysdowntown.com/schedule#entertainment. This 2nd Saturday in May, 2014  marks their 4th anniversary, and I’ve been blogging about their fun urban fest every month since their inaugural festival (for Tucsoncitizen.com and for Blogforarizona.net).  And I’ve attended most of them too, as I enjoy large urban scenes in downtowns.

And sadly after 4 years, Sacred Machine  (museum and art gallery at 245 E. Congress St.) is closing as the artist owners are moving to Los Angeles. Their farewell party is also on May 10. Here’s the schedule:

Schedule of Events:
5:00 Artist Talk with Daniel Martin Diaz and Paula Catherine Valencia
8:00 Crystal Radio live performance
9:00 Blind Divine live performance
5:00 – 8:00, 9:00 – 10:00 d[foRm] live performance


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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).