June 10, 2017
March 4-5, 2017
San Jose, CA
The Taiko drum and three-stringed shamisen may seem like two completely different instruments, yet both instruments share what is called “tataki”. Though “tataki” simply means “striking”, the deep-rooted fundamentals of tataki is what connects both instruments together. This connection is why many taiko players are able to pick up shamisen with great ease, and vice-versa.
Taiko extraordinaire Eien Hunter-Ishikawa and shamisen master-dabbler Kyle Abbott are teaming up in California to bring you a taiko and shamisen experience like no other!
Maui & Oahu
January 4 - 20, 2017
Taiko Heroes 3 - Featuring On Ensemble, Kaoru Watanabe, Yuta Sumiyoshi
A time to reflect on the year with current favorites and bring in the new year with new work, Taiko Heroes is returning on December 3rd, 2016 at Live Arts Los Angeles! This year, On Ensemble is featuring our good friend, Kaoru Watanabe from New York to present new material from his album Néo. He will be joined by Yuta Sumiyoshi, one of the young featured stars of the iconic Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble Kodo and Fumi Tanakadate, a multifaceted musician based in New York City.
A trip to Japan for private lessons with Kyosuke Suzuki sensei covering all parts of Edo Bayashi - fue, atarigane, shimedaiko, and odaiko. Funded in part by a grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council and kind sponsorship by Asano Taiko US.
Video Lesson: Introduction to Pulse and Subdivisions by Eien Hunter-Ishikawa
This 10-minute instructional video will air during Taiko Community Alliance's Taikothon 2016 at the link below.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
2:00 - 6:00pm
Workshops and private lessons - September & October 2016
Contact Eien for booking and more information
Blog post about previous trip:
Hawaii trip: finally back for a visit to teach and perform
Saturday, July 30 @ 6 pm, Gate Opens @ 5 pm
Shastice Park - Mount Shasta, CA
800 Rockfellow Drive (Rockfellow & Adams Drive)
Featuring: Leading taiko innovators
ON ENSEMBLE Los Angeles based On Ensemble infuses taiko with a wide range of musical influences weaving taiko, ukulele, vibraphone, modern drum set, and winds.
SUMIE KANEKO Joining On Ensemble will be special guest Japanese koto and shamisen virtuoso and singer Sumie Kaneko.
UNIT SOUZOU Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe of Portland, Oregon's Unit Souzou are well known for their dynamic fusion of taiko and Japanese folk dance.
TADAIMA (now, at present; I am here! / I am home!) Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer continue to pioneer new directions for music combining taiko, winds, and bass in the jazz improvisational tradition.
GARY FITZGERALD and MASATO BABA Joining Tadaima will be Los Angeles bassist Gary Fitzgerald and taiko artist Masato Baba.
SHASTA TAIKO Mount Shasta's Shasta Taiko will share the stage with these outstanding guest artists in a celebration of taiko, dance, and music.
ISAKU KAGEYAMA, JOE SMALL, BRUCE GHENT, YEEMAN MUI, and HEIDI CHAN - Special guest taiko artists will perform a special piece for ShastaYama and also will be featured in Shasta Taiko's set.
Advance Sale: $25 Adult / $13 Youth (6-17)
Gate Price: $30 Adult / $15 Youth (6-17)
FREE: children 5 years & under
SummerSounds is a fun-filled, four-week series of lively concerts combined with art workshops. Join our dynamic hosts as they lead you on a journey to discover music, dance and art from cultures around the world.
Situated in the intimate setting of the Hollywood Bowl Museum patio, SummerSounds features four different programs, each highlighting a distinct music tradition – a new show every week! Two performances daily.
Monday, July 4, 2016, 12:45 p.m.
Twisp River Park
Held in the Twisp River Park and starting after the Independence Day Parade, the festival offers something for everyone. Performances by Portland Taiko, Indie folk group Rabbitwilde, dancers, aerial artists. Food, drinks, beer tent, and a pie-eating contest!!!
9 drummers take the stage to celebrate this year’s theme of Rhythm. Experience the renowned Japanese kumidaiko performance group from Portland, Oregon. Kumidaiko is the Japanese art form of ensemble drumming, also well known as “taiko”, the Japanese word for drum. The sound of the Taiko will entertain, enthrall and enrich all that experience the power of the Taiko.
Pulse, Ji, and Ensemble Playing
Thursday, June 9, 2016 6 – 8pm
Location: Washington Middle School
Fee: $35 adult, $30 youth (to age 17)
This workshop will address ji playing (the undelying groove), and the concept of the collective heartbeat, as a foundation for better ensemble playing. Various exercises for individual practice and group rehearsals will be covered, including listening, subdivision, tempo, dynamics, phrasing, and flexibility.
The Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble is a multi-instrumental ensemble featuring master taiko artist, Kenny Endo. The Ensemble performs original works combining taiko with melodic and other instruments such as koto (Japanese zither), shinobue or shakuhachi (bamboo flutes), vibraphones, viola, tsugaru shamisen, saxophone, violin, guitar, and djembe (type of African drum). Featured guest artists have included: Keola Beamer, Kiyohiko Semba, Kaoru Watanabe, Bobby McFerrin, Rene McLean, Noel Okimoto, Brad Dutz, Eitetsu Hayashi, Leonard Eto, Abe Lagrimas, Eien Hunter, Shoko Hikage, Masayo Ishigure, Paul Jackson, Yoshinori Nomi, Hitoshi Hamada, Hideaki Kuribayashi, Hiros Nakagawa, Akikazu Nakamura, Masakazu Yoshizawa, Kazumi Watanabe, Stuart Chafetz, Abhijit Banerjee and others.
Kenny Endo, odaiko, taiko set, percussion
Kaoru Watanabe, Japanese bamboo flutes (nohkan, ryuteki, shinobue), Western flute, taiko
Sumie Kaneko, Japanese koto, shamisen
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa, vibraphones, taiko, percussion
Chizuko Endo, taiko, percussion
The Center for Japanese Studies and
The School of Theater & Film at Portland State University
Eight live performances in February & March
Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland State University
Feb. 25, 7:30 pm Preview
Feb. 26, 7:30 pm Opening Night
Feb. 27, 7:30 pm
Feb. 28, 2:00 pm Matinee
March 2, 7:30 pm Student Night
March 3, 7:30 pm
March 4, 7:30 pm
March 5, 7:30 pm
Portland Taiko's annual fall concert celebrates Kenny Endo's 40th year as a taiko performer. The concert, entitled Connections, explores the connections between Kenny Endo and Portland Taiko, connections between traditional and modern taiko repertoire, and Portland Taiko's connections with the Asian American community.
On Ensemble Concert in Lakewood, CO
October 9, 2015
October 3rd and 4th - ROTATIONS (with special guest On Ensemble)
Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 7:00 PM
Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 2:00 PM
at Athenaeum Main Stage
2936 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
40th Anniversary Tour!
Paving new paths in Japanese-style drumming.
One of the leading personas in contemporary percussion and rhythm, Kenny Endo is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continuing to lead the way in this Japanese style of drumming as he marks his 40th year of performing and touring. Eien joins his ensemble for this concert.
Friday, September 25, 2015
7:30 p.m. @ Jones Theatre, Daggy Hall
Washington State University
Presented by Festival Dance & Performing Arts
Soloing Musically on Taiko
This workshop will focus on ideas for soloing on taiko. We will play exercises for improvising on the spot and cover ways to prepare material ahead of time. Other topics include listening, dynamics, tempo control, and expression. This workshop is designed to cover some fundamentals of soloing musically and is open to players of all experience levels.
Sunday, September 20, 9:30am-12:00pm
Dance Mission Theater
Questions and Registration
Comments from past Soloing Musically on Taiko workshop participants:
"I liked learning how to tackle new ideas and phrasing."
"My favorite part was the improv exercise where you feed off the previous soloist while thinking what to feed to the next."
"I liked your approach to structuring a predetermined solo - copy game was fun and challenging!"
"Great workshop! I can't wait to keep practicing what I learned!"
"I found the advice on stick grip and practice methods helpful."
Bruce & Eien Vibraphone/Shakuhachi duet
SF World Percussion Arts Festival
September 18, 19, 20
With its inauguaral festival in 2010, the San Francisco World Percussion Arts Festival celebrates the diverse global traditions of percussive arts. Workshops and performances will be presented by highly respected artists who are recognized for their skill and mastery. The festival promotes the importance of cultural heritage and provides opportunities for everyone - individuals and communities - to celebrate, share, and sustain world percussive art forms.
The Bruce-Eien duet is a unique trans-Pacific project created to perform original compositions, Japanese traditional music, and jazz. The unusual pairing of the shakuhachi and vibraphone enables a wide range of musical expression. Bruce and Eien’s extensive work in cross-cultural collaborations allows their music to elude boundaries while staying true to the richness of traditional forms and melodies. The group played their debut show in Tokyo in December 2014.
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa - vibraphone
Bruce Huebner - shakuhachi