Interview: Jason Matsumoto talks taiko, his film project, collaboration, and the new CD

Last month Jason Matsumoto sat down with me to talk about his group Ho Etsu Taiko, recent projects, and upcoming events. The first time we worked together was in September 2015 when Ho Etsu invited On Ensemble to play a joint concert in Chicago. I enjoyed the collaboration and was immediately impressed with their organization, performance level, and new taiko compositions. Months after that show, Jason decided to release a CD of the live concert recording, and we talk about this in the interview.

We also talked in depth about Jason's current project as executive producer, a film called The Orange Story. This short film is about the internment of Japanese Americans and was created for students and educators with the goal of providing an entry point in discussing issues of race and discrimination. You can find out more about it through the links below.

Jason sent me two tracks from the new CD: Traveler (performed by Ho Etsu) and Parallax (performed by Ho Etsu and On Ensemble). I have added excerpts of this music in the interview. Please check out the links below to find out more about the release date and how to get your own copy.

Ho Etsu learn about our music, our mission and our history; newsletter sign up for CD news follow us!

The Orange Story learn more about the project "Hidden Histories" is a curated screening package that includes The Orange Story, this is the lookbook! follow us for related news stories and project updates
Chicago film premiere event December 2, 2016

Full Spectrum Features

Jason Matsumoto is a fourth-generation Japanese American from Chicago.  He earned a business degree from the University of Washington in Seattle and spent one year in Japan as a study-abroad student attending Sophia University in Tokyo. By day, he is a director of pricing for financial derivative products at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. By passion, Matsumoto is the director and composer for Ho Etsu Taiko, a Chicago-based ensemble centered around Japanese drumming. Most recently, he has assumed the role of co-Producer for The Orange Story, a film project funded by the National Parks Service that aims to provide digital educational content about civil liberties as told through the lens of Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Matsumoto serves as Vice President of the Board of Full Spectrum Features, a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) production company committed to increasing diversity in the media arts and utilizing the power of cinema to educate the public about important social and cultural issues.