Taiko 2.0: Activism and Advocacy

Curator: Elise Fujimoto

In this session, we look “beyond the drum” to see and hear what are groups doing beyond traditional kumidaiko to make social, political, or ethical statements. Half Taiko Talks, half discussion, this session will feature individual speakers presenting their projects followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A.

Women in Taiko

Curator: Wisa Uemura

This session will celebrate the history of female involvement within the taiko community, and discuss the direction of growth, recognition, and empowerment of female taiko players into the future. Moderated panel discussion will transition to small group breakouts and general Q&A. Open to all.

The Wonderful World of Wagakki – Traditional Arts Showcase

Curator: TBA

Come enjoy some live music and learn about wagakki (traditional Japanese instruments). Presenters will be sharing the rich history of various traditional Japanese performing arts and melodic instruments. Experience how wagakki can work together in a performing ensemble and complement any taiko performance.

Six Degrees of (Taiko) Separation

Curator: Mark H Rooney

One of the most interesting and certainly, one of the strongest aspects of the global taiko community is the permeation of taiko on such an international scale.  Even within our own countries, the diversity of the taiko community in North America is amazingly rich and varied.  Come explore (and share) the stories and histories of how taiko has spread throughout North America and the rest of the world through a series of speakers and discussions that will connect you to every other taiko player in the world!

Stage Production

Curator: Roy Hirabayashi

If you’ve ever wondered how to produce a concert, then this session is specially formulated for you! Learn about the ins and outs of stage production and the “behind the scenes” action of what goes into producing a concert.


Approximately 25 person capacity per session

Lessons from the Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI) 2013-2016

Curator: Kris Bergstrom

Fellow teachers of taiko! Learn the most useful pedagogical techniques developed over the course of more than 4000 classes at Los Angeles Taiko Institute since its inception in 2013. Participants experience the techniques directly, serving as students through a variety of learning exercises. The material is drawn from the “Taiko Teaching Tips” developed by Yuta Kato, David Wells, Yuri Yoshida, and other Institute staff, and covers both logistical and musical topics to help students learn quickly and have fun.

Teaching Taiko

Curator: Franco Imperial

San Jose Taiko will share best practices from over four decades of teaching taiko. This session will also draw from participants’ collective experiences with leading and organizing taiko workshops. Be prepared to ask questions, share knowledge, and demonstrate what we discuss. Consider it a fun master class for taiko teachers!

Taiko and Community: What’s the Connection? (2 sessions)

Curator: Karen Young

TAIKO and COMMUNITY go hand in hand. In this workshop we will look at three levels of taiko community: within our groups, amongst our groups, and our connection to the larger community around us. Participants will leave with tools and concepts to strengthen their groups at home, an increased knowledge base of the variety of taiko organizations and their purposes, and several methods of how groups outreach and engage the community around them. This interactive workshop is suitable for all levels of taiko players. Whether you’re a solo or ensemble player, or consider yourself a leader or newbie to the taiko community, you’ll come away from this workshop with new friends, a greater sense of connectedness, and tools and knowledge that will help you achieve your taiko goals. “Technical workshops are great for mechanics, but Karen’s workshops deal with the very heart and soul of taiko – the people who play it.” Jonathan Kirby, Director, Kagemusha Taiko, UK Taiko Festival, and the European Taiko Conference

Fundraising doesn’t have to suck

Curator: Rome Hamner

Most of us just want to play more taiko, but none of us get to play ANY taiko if someone isn’t bringing in money for drums, replacement heads, a place to play, a place to store everything ….if you’re the person in charge of keeping the lights on for your group, come to this engaging (really!) interactive (really!) session and begin building a toolkit to help you bring in money without burning out.