Sunday, July 17th at 1:30PM on the Canadian North Main Stage
Sunday, July 17th at 3:45PM on the 100.1 TrueNorthFM Aurora Stage (Workshop)
Taiko is a style of drumming originating in Japan that combines music with martial arts. A physically demanding and visually impressive art form, taiko is played and enjoyed around the world. Inspired by the energy and interplay of the northern lights, SkyFire Taiko features Nancy Mullick and Kevin Cull who started performing together in 2015. Leslie Gray became a taiko student in 2018 and joined the group in 2019. Eva Paul joined Nancy’s first ever taiko class in September 2020 and became a member of the performance team in 2022.
Nancy first saw taiko in Yellowknife at Folk on the Rocks in 2008. She has been
playing taiko drums since 2009 and has studied with some of Canada’s top professional taiko groups – Uzume Taiko, Fubuki Daiko and Booming Tree Taiko – as well as Wadaiko Tokara in Japan. Taiko gives her an incredibly creative outlet to explore sound and movement, silence and breath, power and finesse. She is co-founder of SkyFire Taiko.
A co-founder of SkyFire Taiko, Kevin brings a diverse musical background and decades of martial arts experience to the taiko mix. He’s been especially drawn to drums since he was a kid, and has been learning about taiko from Nancy since late 2014. Between taiko practices, Kevin can be found teaching taekwondo, training in judo, and exploring the Yellowknife outdoors through a host of activities.
Once upon a time, at the Grade Six band tryout, Leslie asked to be the drummer. They gave her the oboe. Twenty years later, Nancy made Leslie’s dream come true by inviting her to try taiko. Love with every strike, she enjoys the physically demanding practice that combines voice and choreography into the rhythms that completely absorb her. Playing since 2018, Leslie hopes to one day travel to Japan to deepen her practice.
Newest member of SkyFire Taiko, Eva comes to the discipline from a varied background of music and dance. She was fascinated from the moment she first saw SkyFire Taiko play several years ago, and jumped at the chance to learn when Nancy began teaching classes in 2020. Music has always been integral to her mental health, and she has been grateful for the opportunity to immerse herself in taiko rhythms and create music with others through the pandemic. When not annoying her condo neighbours with repetitive rhythms, Eva sings harmonies for Flora and the Fireweeds, and is an active searcher and trainer for YKSAR.