About this Event
Taiko Master Kenny Endo will share his story of his music background, his discovery of taiko and Asian American identity, training in Japan, and his experiences. Kenny Endo is working towards developing taiko as a way of becoming attuned with the wisdom found in nature and seeking ways that taiko can contribute to society.
Co-sponsored by TaikoMix
KENNY ENDO is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation. Originally trained as a jazz musician in the Asian American cultural renaissance of 1970s California, Endo began his taiko career first with L.A.’s groundbreaking Kinnara Taiko, then with the renowned San Francisco Taiko Dojo, the first kumi daiko (ensemble drumming) group outside of Japan. In 1980, he embarked on a decade-long odyssey in his ancestral Japan, studying and performing with the masters of classical drumming, traditional Tokyo festival music, and ensemble drumming. Endo has the honor of being the first non-Japanese national to have received a natori (stage name and masters license) in hogaku hayashi (classical drumming). In the hogaku world, Endo is known as Mochizuki Tajiro. In the greater musical world, “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with “taiko.” He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the classical Japanese style and his own neo-traditional, globally-inspired variety. Among his many distinctions are an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an artist residency at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York, his own “Kenny Endo Day” proclaimed by the Mayor of Honolulu, and certificates of honor from the Hawaii State House of Representatives, State Senate, and the Honolulu City Council.
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