Art Hounds Recommends the Irresistible Rhythms of Taiko Drums and Jazz Guitar

Passionate about art and culture, St. Paul’s Tommy Sar recommends watching the screening of a new documentary centered on women and non-binary people in Taiko drumming. Filmed in Minnesota and Japan, “Finding Her Beat” makes its national premiere this weekend during the Sound Unseen Film Festival.

For centuries, only men were allowed to participate in the traditional Japanese art form of Taiko drumming. This has changed in recent years. Sar recalls when the artists gathered at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul several years ago, which is featured in the film. Sar called the performers’ Taiko travel documentary “moving and powerful,” with high-energy performances.

The first screening of the film on Friday is sold out, but there is a second screening on Sunday at 8:15 p.m. at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Virtual tickets are also available.

Amateur guitarist Chuck House of St. Paul plans to attend the next concert in the Minnesota Guitar Society’s new Jazz and Fingerstyle Guitar Concert Series. Tuesday’s concert features two talented local guitar duos playing hot club jazz.

At 6 p.m., Red Hot Django Peppers duo Ryan Picone and Jose Betanzos show off the intricate fingering and driving rhythms of the late Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt. Famous for his improvisations, Reinhardt did not write his compositions. Instead, this Twin Cities duo will perform a mix of original arrangements and pieces adopted from recordings by Reinhardt and his fans.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., guitarists Pavel Jany and Dean Harrington take the stage with a variety of styles including swing.

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The event is free, but seating is limited at the MetroNOME Brewery in St. Paul.

As an artist from southwestern Minnesota, Dawson’s Lucy Tokheim witnessed the ripple effect of Franz Allbert Richter’s long career in nearby Clarkfield. Richter, who recently turned 80, worked closely with Minnesota poets Robert Bly and Bill Holm, creating designs from many of Bly’s books during the Seventies Press period.

A collection of pencil drawings and clay folk figures by Franz Allbert Richter, titled “A Life in Art”, is housed at Madison Mercantile, which has gallery space, in Madison, Minn. The show opens Thursday at 7 p.m., when Pioneer PBS will be interviewing fans of Richter’s work for a “Postcards” episode that will air next year. The work will be visible throughout the month of November.

Tokheim notes that many of Richter’s drawings from the 1970s and 80s were completed at a time when good fine art photography was rare, making it difficult to preserve copies of original drawings. She says bringing together even a portion of Richter’s work is a great opportunity.

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