Taiko Ten: Celebration

Taiko Ten is a free concert offered as part of the North American Taiko Conference.

DATE: Friday, August 11

LOCATION: West Ballroom, Price Center, UC San Diego

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first North American Taiko Conference (NATC), TCA is proud to present Taiko Ten: Celebration! This year’s concert will feature groups from across the community each observing a key milestone or special gathering. Help us mark this momentous occasion and join in the celebration!!

Taiko Ten is a free, community concert held as part of the North American Taiko Conference meant to provide performance opportunities for groups attending NATC. Started at the 2003 NATC held in Sacramento, CA, Taiko Ten continues to be a pillar of the NATC schedule with new themes and interpretations each year. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the first NATC, and the seventh Taiko Ten community concert.


Performance Lineup

en Taiko – Portland, OR

en Taiko was established in 2007. en Taiko played and practiced on old garbage bins. At first, en Taiko began as a means of teaching kids at schools, where music class was no longer offered. Drastic public school budget cuts continue to deprive students of the demonstrated benefits of formal music education. The practice and performances by en Taiko help fill this gap, by providing students with discipline, camaraderie, listening skills, and structure–all essential components of Japanese taiko.

The en Taiko performance group is a youthful, high-energy experience that fosters community. Taiko drumming strengthens individuality and creativity within the interplay of a group dynamic. The group performs at cultural events and music festivals throughout the city of Portland, carrying on a centuries-old musical tradition from feudal Japan..

Reason for Celebration: To foster a community where participants from various ethnic backgrounds work together to create music while learning the cultural traditions of others.

Genbu Daiko – San Diego, CA

Genbu Daiko of San Diego, the newest taiko team on the scene, was founded by Noel Garcia in August of 2015. With a group of dedicated, seasoned performers, Genbu’s goal is to teach and share the artform of taiko in hopes of spreading creativity and passion throughout the community. Genbu is happy to dedicate their performance in celebration of their 2 year anniversary as well as celebrating with you – 20 amazing years of NATC memories!

Reason for Celebration: Genbu will be celebrating its 2 year anniversary. We’d like to also celebrate a sort of debut performance to the community that has supported us throughout our various taiko pathways; a “Thank You” for the love. Many of Genbu’s members are volunteering since San Diego is this year’s host city. So we’re celebrating SD and all of NATC’s volunteers as well.

Kishin Daiko – West Covina, CA

Since the group’s establishment at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in June of 1981, Kishin Daiko has continued to entertain, educate and enlighten audiences with the dynamic, powerful and heart stopping sounds of taiko (Japanese percussive-style drumming). The group’s performances embody the translation of Kishin, which is energy, spirit, and heart. Kishin Daiko’s music consists of traditional and adaptations of traditional Japanese taiko pieces, along with original compositions by contemporary musicians and Kishin members. Kishin devotes itself to sharing Japanese and Japanese American culture by holding workshops and classes and performing all over Southern California and beyond. Some of their performance highlights include: World Cup Soccer Celebration at Universal Studios, The Super Bowl XXXII Pre-game, the Clippers game half time, Knott’s Scary Farm Maze Reveal, Video Music Awards, and Special Olympics torch run ceremony.

Reason for Celebration: We just celebrated our 35th anniversary last year and we look forward to many more years to come!

La Jolla Taiko – La Jolla, CA

  Founded in the summer of 2014, La Jolla Taiko is a community-based drumming group comprised of members of all ages and backgrounds. Developing artistry that is both traditional and contemporary, La Jolla Taiko strives to infuse their own diverse influences and instruments into a festive and entertaining experience.

Reason for Celebration: This is La Jolla Taiko’s first time performing for NATC. This year they are celebrating NATC in San Diego and the great, supportive taiko community we have here!


Makoto Taiko – Pasadena, CA

Makoto Taiko seeks to unite people of all backgrounds in our local and global communities by preserving and sharing the spirit of Japanese Taiko drumming through performances, classes, and other charitable educational activities. Founded in 1999, Makoto Taiko offers weekly classes to taiko players from beginner to professional artists. Over the years, the Pasadena-based ensemble broadened its membership and performed at a wide range of charitable and community organizations and educational institutions. In 2014, Makoto Taiko secured 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, with its membership and classes open to anyone. Makoto Taiko’s current members are from a diverse group of ethnicities and ages living in the Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura County areas. Makoto Taiko performs at an ever-expanding list of events and venues throughout the U.S. including the 2013 Special Olympics Los Angeles and San Gabriel Regional Games, the 2015 Japan Fair and Nisei Week Taiko Gathering in Little Tokyo, the Los Angeles Marathon, the 2017 Taiko Summit Colorado and more.

Reason for Celebration: This is our first time participating in NATC, and we are very excited to be a part of this great conference!

Odaiko Sonora – Tucson, AZ

Odaiko Sonora is thrilled to be kicking off its 15th Anniversary celebrations by performing at Taiko Ten this Conference! Serving southern Arizona since 2002, Odaiko Sonora has increased first-hand knowledge of taiko and the opportunities it presents for personal growth and community service throughout the region. The group’s performances, classes, school residencies and team-building workshops reach over 150,000 people each year. Through networking and leadership Odaiko Sonora has established Tucson as one ethnomusicologist put it, “a taiko-safe zone,” where touring players can find a place to stay, conduct workshops and perform for new audiences. Our group leaders are members of Sacramento Taiko Dan’s Jodaiko and the North American Kasuga Onigumi led by Tiffany Tamaribuchi.

Reason for Celebration: We are celebrating our 15th anniversary! Our members are so excited to be part of Taiko Ten!

Omiyage – Taiko Community

When I first wrote Omiyage I had in mind that the piece would represent the growth of taiko in North America and beyond on many levels. The odaiko represents the calling of the drum–at first it is distant and hard to hear but persistent. The shime okedo players represent the first groups to establish themselves. They respond to the calling of the taiko and call out to it using their voices: “E-YASA!”. The odaiko comes to life in response and the momentum builds and they call out to the chudaiko players that represent the explosion in the growth and energy of our community. Then in turn these players use their voices to call out to the next generation of taiko players with “E-YASA!” and spread the spirit of taiko. Another aspect of the taiko community that inspired Omiyage is the spirit of generosity and sharing that we find in our community. It is this culture of generosity established by our pioneers that inspired me to release this piece as the first Open Source taiko piece. It is now one of the most widely shared, performed and taught pieces in the taiko community. It is my hope that Omiyage continues to inspire and contribute to this culture of generosity. This performance is a celebration of that spirit we find in our community! Eiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-YASA!  – Shoji Kameda


Reason for Celebration: I am proposing a performance of Omiyage open to all members of the taiko community. As one of the first open source taiko pieces Omiyage is widely performed by many groups across the country. My idea is to bring representatives from around the country and around the taiko world together to perform this piece in the spirit of building community and sharing. Click on the link above to sign up and perform with us!

Raging Asian Women (RAW) Taiko Drummers- Toronto, ON

Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers (RAW) is an arts collective of Asian and Asian-Canadian women in Toronto. We are a Japanese Taiko drumming group that exists as a critical response and challenge to both systemic and internalized oppressions. Through performance, education, and community outreach, we seek to challenge, redefine and represent ourselves, and to inspire ourselves and others. Through collective membership, artistic creation, and active development, we carve space for self-expression, authentic engagement, community, and healing.

RAW was formed in 1998 as one of the only all-women taiko groups in North America, by three former members of Wasabi Daiko. RAW traces its lineage through the North American taiko movement’s unique history, one that is integrally linked to the Asian American Movement of the 1960s and 1970s when Asian Americans and Canadians mobilized en masse around issues of racial equality, social justice, and political empowerment.

Reason for Celebration: RAW celebrates our 19th year of existence! Just a year behind NATC! Through the 19 years of collective membership, teaching each other, seeking outside mentors, traveling to Japan and other locations and bringing back knowledge, RAW has slowly built up our skills, mastering our techniques, and learning new methods of teaching and learning. We celebrate the dedicated perseverance of all the members who came before us, and the continued hard work of our current members and apprentices. Everyone’s commitment to Taiko and to RAW’s mission for social consciousness and activism has allowed us to grow as a group, and we celebrate the achievements we have attained in Taiko by offering our performance of Sempu, a challenging meditation on beats diverse.

ShinDaiko – Boston, MA

ShinDaiko is a vibrant, Greater Boston-based contemporary taiko ensemble founded in 2012. Our focus and performances not only showcase the intensity, passion and history of Japanese ensemble drumming, but also incorporate other instruments and styles, both Western and Eastern.
The Japanese character “Shin” in ShinDaiko means “advancing” or “moving forward.” We seek to always be moving forward in our musical vision, to explore new ideas and concepts, and to weave the powerful sounds of taiko with other musical influences to create our own distinct melody.
This year, ShinDaiko is celebrating our fifth anniversary and the release of our first studio album, themed around the yokai, supernatural spirits from Japanese legends.

Reason for Celebration: We are celebrating our 5th anniversary and are at the milestone of incorporating all original pieces into our performance lineup. We are inspired by Japanese folklore and mythology and our compositions are based on the stories of Japanese yokai. We would love the opportunity to share some of these stories and legends with the taiko community