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Island Arts Festival 

When: March 4-5, 8-10 p.m. 2011
Price: $20

East meets West at the inaugural Island Arts Festival, a celebration of world culture at Rhythmix Cultural Works (2513 Blanding Ave., Alameda) on Friday and Saturday, March 4-5. This year's focus is on Japanese music, dance, and the breathtaking rhythm and movement of taiko drumming, with a roster of international artists including Cheiko Kojima, who reinvents Japanese folk dance as a principal performer in Japan's innovative Kodotaiko troupe; and jazz artist and premier fue (bamboo flute) player Kaoru Watanabe, visiting from Manhattan. Along with pounding on the taiko drums, Alameda's Maze Daikoensemble backs the performance with its unique instrumental music, played on marimba, santur, djembe and more. Rhythmix hopes to make the festival an annual event. 8 p.m., $20-$25. 510-865-5060 or Rhythmix.org

— Claudia Bauer

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