Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician and educator based in Portland, Oregon specializing in drumset, taiko, percussion, and shinobue. Born in Japan, his passion for drumming started at an early age through the involvement of a youth taiko ensemble directed by Saburo Mochizuki, a founding member of Tokyo’s pioneering taiko ensemble Sukeroku Daiko. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University, where he performed, recorded, and toured as a member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble under the direction of the late Robert Hohner, and earned his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During his time in Honolulu, Eien performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble throughout the United States and Europe and taught classes at the Taiko Center of the Pacific, a school of traditional and contemporary taiko. He continues his studies of the traditional Japanese music forms Edo Bayashi (festival music of old Tokyo) and Edo Kotobuki Jishi (lion dance of old Tokyo) through master musician and dancer Kyosuke Suzuki.
Following Hawaii, Eien lived in Vancouver, British Columbia where he collaborated with shakuhachi artist Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos to present category-defying music with his ensemble Maru. He has worked with electro-acoustic groups Isshin Denshin Atmospheric Ensemble and Haagen & Ryuzen, TomoeArts artistic director Colleen Lanki, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, tsugaru shamisen artist Hiroshi Yamaguchi, sho artist Naomi Sato, Michael O'Neill's bagpipe ensemble Mearingstone, Vancouverʼs Silk Road Music, African band Kow Kanda, and rock/reggae band Still Creek. He performs traditional Japanese music and jazz with his vibraphone & shakuhachi duet with Bruce Huebner. Eien is a member of contemporary taiko quartet On Ensemble and continues to write new compositions for the group.
Eien has performed at the North American Taiko Conference, Chico World Music Festival, Vancouver’s Powell Street Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Hawaii International Taiko Festival, Honolulu International Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival. A very active instructor of percussion, taiko, and shinobue, he has presented workshops at the North American Taiko Conference, World Taiko Gathering, Taiko Baka Gathering, Fue of the Bay, Pacific Northwest Regional Taiko Gathering, and Asano Taiko US. Eien continues to work in a wide variety of artistic collaborations and offers private lessons, online instruction, and workshops.
Master of Music in Performance
University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 2003
Bachelor of Music Education
Central Michigan University, 2001
Music Education (K-12), State of Michigan, 2001
Ionisation - Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble
Music Starts From Silence, 2015
Third Wind – Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble
Digital Music Products Label, 2001
Far More Drums – Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble
Digital Music Products Label, 2000
A New Beginning – Central Michigan University
School of Music Ensembles, 1998
Outstanding Musicianship Award
Reno Jazz Festival, 2003
Merit List for Achievement in Performance
University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2002
Outstanding Soloist Award
Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, 2000