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Rapport Series XVIII: Succession Percussion Group

  • Publish Date:2018-12-06
Rapport Series XVIII: Succession Percussion Group

Succession of talent and culture


Taiwanese percussionist Cheng Li-feng (鄭醴丰) sees no boundaries when it comes to music. He first studied under veteran musician Hou You-chong (侯佑忠), who specialized in leading the beats for the theatrical fight scenes in Peking opera, and then from drummer Chang Yuan-jung (張遠榮), who leads the Hung Sheng Lion Dance Theater (鴻勝醒獅團) in New Taipei City. 


He was further mentored by maestro Ju Tzong-ching (朱宗慶), founder of the Ju Percussion Group (朱宗慶打擊樂團), and Hsu Bor-nien (徐伯年), artistic director of Forum Music (十方樂集). This combination of Oriental traditions with Occidental classics gave rise to a fresh take on percussion music that afforded Cheng the opportunity to study at the Conservatoire National de Région de Rueil-Malmaison in France, where he trained in musical theater, jazz improvisation, and dance accompaniment. 


He then incorporated his interests in poetry, calligraphy, and art with music to create percussion performances that take elements from electronic music, theater plays, and dance productions. To pass on his passion for music, Cheng founded Succession Percussion Group in 1995 and deepened the roots of culture in Kaohsiung. The troupe usually performs with masks or plain clothing to reflect the key to his performance philosophy — teamwork. 


As for the name Succession, Cheng says its his hope to pass on the torch of tradition and the hope of innovation to the next generations of Taiwan. This succession is also rooted in community outreach, as the troupe works with the young, disabled, and elderly to bring joy to everyday life through percussion music.