Taiko (ˈtīkō): A wide range of Japanese percussion instruments, although outside of Japan the term most often refers to a specific type of drum. The term can also refer to the musical styles using these instruments, which have variously included roles in religious, military, and social activism movements.
Through improvisations, original compositions and contemporary arrangements, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe bring the ancient sound of Japan directly into the modern world. Fusing Japanese folk and classical traditions with jazz and experimental music, composer Kaoru Watanabe is a gifted practitioner of Japanese bamboo flutes, western flute and the taiko drum. Master drummer Kenny Endo is a prominent force in contemporary taiko performance in the US and Japan, synthesizing Japanese drumming, world music rhythms and western jazz percussion styles. Devoted to cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary collaborations, the artistic path of these exquisite musicians is defined by intensive study and performance with some of the most acclaimed figures in Japanese music.
This performance was selected by Arts@TheCore Curatorial Fellow Heidi Kim. A professor in the Department of English & Comparative Literature, Dr. Kim identified this performance to connect with her course on the legacy of Japanese American internment and other classes offered across the university.