AFS Envoys: Dawn Mikkelson (Director); Kerri Pickett (Director); Megan Smith (Subject); Jennifer Weir (Subject)
In the midst of a frozen Minnesota winter, a Japanese drum master and Korean adoptee from North Dakota join forces to assemble the world’s best Taiko drummers in a bold effort to claim a cultural spotlight that has historically been reserved only for men. Their rhythm revolution includes rock stars from the world of Taiko: Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Kaoly Asano, Chieko Kojima, Megan Chao- Smith, and Jennifer Weir. Through grueling rehearsals, Jennifer weaves together their disparate voices and styles. Vulnerability, pain, and joys are shared—and we quickly see the bonds of friendship form as these talented women navigate their way through differences in culture, age, language, and performing styles. As the clock ticks toward their first performance, it becomes clear that their story has become much larger than Taiko.