Welcoming First-Time (at NATC) Workshop Leaders

One of TCA’s Core Values is Heritage and Evolution: Actively honoring the past while looking to the future.

It is our pleasure to be able to introduce you to our line-up of 4 North American based workshop leaders who have never taught at NATC before. A couple from the local scene, one from across the country and at least one that will make you ask “Wait, HAVEN’T they taught at NATC before…?”. It was our intention and commitment this time around to find ways to get some of the Not-So-Usual Suspects on the roster and we are excited to add these new (or just new to NATC) instructors and give them the opportunity to show the Taiko Community their perspective.  We also have a few Japanese workshop leaders that are also first time NATC instructors who will be featured in a separate article.

The last two Taiko Census responses reported that approximately 30% of the taiko community is under the age of 30.  TCA is proud to play a small role in the professional development of these artists by providing a platform for their teaching to be known.  Scroll through the images below to  learn more about these artists and their 2017 NATC workshops, and REGISTER FOR NATC TODAY!


Taiko Groups: Unit Souzou, On Ensemble, Prota

David began his musical journey early in life under the guidance of his father, a professional jazz musician. Having studied clarinet for 13 years, he discovered taiko beginning with Stanford Taiko in 2003. David has worked to hone his skills both in performance and instruction to the utmost, always striving to consider himself a student of the art, and has since performed with groups such as the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, TAIKOPROJECT, Prota, On Ensemble, and Unit Souzou.

Workshops Teaching:  Conversations: Basic Solo Improvisation (session 2),  Taiko Set Drills (session 3)



Taiko Group: Naruwan Taiko

Devin Tani is a fourth generation Japanese American drummer, with 15 years of experience in various styles of percussion. Starting with concert drums in fourth grade, he eventually led his middle school and high school bands as Drum Major. In college, he sought to learn more about his heritage by joining UC Irvine’s Jodaiko in 2009. He continued to pursue taiko after graduation with Naruwan Taiko in San Diego, CA, where he currently co-instructs practice sessions. Devin’s background and passion for musical theory have led to his interest in exploring Western techniques in the context of North American taiko.

Workshop Teaching: Doubling Down: A Deeper Insight to Hand Technique and Rebound (session 1)



Taiko Group: Genbu Daiko of San Diego

Listening to hip hop, classical, jazz and world music; exposed to theaters, museums, gardens and dance studios, Noel Garcia has been heavily influenced by various genres of art his whole life. Although never in his youth would he ever suspect that taiko would govern his creative heart so profoundly. In 1998, Noel witnessed his first live taiko performance in his hometown of Las Vegas. Instantaneously he was captivated and
shortly after began his taiko journey. His passion for taiko opened doors for him to work and freelance with many influential artists in the taiko world. He even spent some time playing and teaching taiko during his three years as a JET Programme Assistant Language Teacher in Kyoto between 2008 and 2011. Now, with almost 20 years of priceless taiko experiences, self discoveries and loving encouragement from his family and friends, a dream that was more than a decade in the making finally came true and Genbu Daiko was born. Looking into the horizon of the future, one thing is definite. Taiko for Noel is and will always be an unforgettable adventure and an enormous part of his soul. It is a lifestyle and a choice with immeasurable responsibility. Through taiko, he plans on sowing more seeds of inspiration and joy into those willing to grow with him.

Workshops Teaching: Hip Hop Taiko (Session 5)



Taiko Group: Soloist

Know by her Buddhist name Laiyo, Yoko Nakahashi is a New York-based award winning contemporary music composer. a member of Taiko Masala, and New York Suwa Taiko Association. She has been certified to teach Osuwa Daiko music to various levels of taiko players. Her compositions have been performed by JACK Quartet, David Del Tredici, and many other ensembles. Yoko has been writing music and performing live sound effects for various theater groups, martial arts troops, and dance companies, as well as performing with various groups and giving Taiko workshops in the US Japan, Barbados, and the UK.

Workshops Teaching: Isamigoma-Tonbane Daiko (session 3), Composition Idea/Improvisation Vocabulary for Taiko Drumming (session 4)