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Taiwan int'l percussion festival set for May

TAIPEI--Young drummers from a remote indigenous village in eastern Taiwan will open the triennial Taiwan International Percussion Convention in May, bringing their music to an international stage.

The Amis drummers of Pisilian Paw-Paw Drum will join Taiwan's Ju Percussion Group in the opening concert in Taipei May 26, Ju Percussion, the organizer of the event, announced yesterday.

Pisilian Paw-Paw Drum from Taitung County's Sansian community consists of 25 members with an average age of 15. The troupe performs with drums made from abandoned fishing buoys (pronounced “paw-paw” in the Amis language) found in its fishing village.

Ho Hong-chi, associate director of Ju Percussion and instructor of Pisilian Paw-Paw Drum, said the young drummers will perform three pieces in the opening concert that are inspired by tribal life and ancient Amis tunes.

“Their performances will also feature harvest festival dances and cheers,” Ho said.

Ju Tzong ching, the founder and artistic director of Ju Percussion, said he hopes the performances will show audiences a unique aspect of Taiwan.

Ten drumming troupes and 10 solo percussionists from 14 countries are set to perform at the festival this year.

Among them are France's Percussions Claviers de Lyon, a frequent winner of world percussion awards; the Netherlands' Percossa, known for integrating drama in its performances; and Australia's Speak Percussion, famous for its avant-garde music.

Taiwan's Forum Music and Succession Percussion Group and award- winning French-Taiwanese percussionist Yang Yi-ping, will also perform at the festival.

A total of 30 shows will be held in 10 counties and cities around Taiwan, according to the organizers.

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