Japanese Taiko drumming is featured as part of Culture Fest 2019. Presented by the Oregon Folklife Network, several regional venues are hosting a variety of activities.

BAKER CITY — Japanese drumming and a folklorist are the lead-in to this weekend’s Powder River Music Review, which features an old-fashioned jam session.

The public is invited to join Janet Komoto and the Kawa Taiko drummers and folklorist Josh Chrysler for a demonstration of traditional Japanese drumming and a closer look at one of the many living cultural traditions of the Four Rivers region.

The event is Sunday from 2-4 p.m. in the Powder River Pavilion at Geiser-Pollman Park, 1723 Madison St., Baker City. In case of inclement weather, the shows will be held at the Baker County Fairgrounds, 2600 East St.

With no prior knowledge of the tradition, Komoto wore the hats of student, teacher and group leader. She continues to carry on the tradition with students of all ages. The group will share their knowledge, stories and present a taiko performance.

Then, people are invited to stick around from 4-6 p.m. as local bands gather for a good old-fashioned jam session. Ghost Wind (Larry and Peggy Haney), who play American Indian classic folk music and were originally scheduled to perform, notified the review committee that they would be unable to travel to Baker City.

With no set admission fee, people are encouraged to make a $5 donation to help support the music series. Those who donate will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a gift basket.

The Powder River Music Review also is sponsoring live entertainment during the weekend leading up to the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. For information about upcoming performances, visit

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