Taiko is about community. Taiko, Japanese drumming transcends all cultures and it is universal and anyone can do it. Participants from different ethnic backgrounds will work with each other to create music and learn to be open to the cultural traditions of others.

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.

 

 

Over the years, the quality of taiko has been getting better and better. The en Taiko students are ready for increased responsibility and more challenging songs. As a performance group, en Taiko plans to expand its repetoir and grow its membership.

 Taiko played a vital role in strengthening community, whether in the schools, temples, or throughout the townships. Similarly, en Taiko aspires to create opportunity for strengthening and expanding community.

In April 2012, en Taiko became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.   Status number: 27- 2180026

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.

 

What is the mission?

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

About Taiko

The word, “Taiko” in Japanese literally means great or wide drum. It refers most commonly to a distinctive form of drumming that has its roots in ancient Japanese culture. But Taiko also describes the art form of modern Japanese drum ensembles, as well as the physical drums used by these groups.

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Artistic Director Kazuyo Ito

Kazuyo Ito, Artistic Director of en Taiko, is teaching the art of Japanese drumming at Richmond Elementary, Pacific University, Portland Community College and other schools and facilities around Portland, Oregon.

Kazuyo was trained by Taiko masters Takemasa Ishikura in Florida and Jyotaro Yoshimura in Japan. Before starting en Taiko in 2007, she performed with Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble in California  and Matsuriza at Walt Disney World for many years.

 

 

 

 

en Taiko Collaboration Artist     Eric Schopmeyer

Eric Schopmeyer has been teaching music in Portland Public Schools for 16 years. He currently teaches at Buckman Elementary. From 2000-2011 he headed the Marysville Marimba band. He has published two volumes of original works for student marimba ensemble. He composed over 5 pieces with en Taiko  with the composition which is Japanese Taiko with Zimbabwean-style marimba.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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en Taiko Collaboration Artist   Mitsuki Dazai

A graduate of Japan’s renowned Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, Mitsuki is studied in contemporary koto and has performed professionally throughout the world. In 2015, she released her 1st CD “Shanti Samsara”. Mitsuki also leads and instructs a koto ensemble group, Oregon Koto-Kai. She enjoys introducing her beautiful koto music to the diverse cultures of the world.

Recent Work

 

  • Collaboration with Koto artist, Mitsuki Dazai
  • Collaboration with marimba composer, Eric Schopmeyer
  • Collaboration with Oregon Symphony violinist, Keiko Arai 
  • Minoru Yasui – Internment Camp Event 

    Asian Health Service Center Culture Event

    Regional Arts & Culture Council Fundraising

    Camellia Fest in Newberg

    Natsumatsuri Summer Festival

    Portland Japanese Garden

    Hult Center in Eugene

    Kiteboarding 4 Cancer in Hood River

    North American Taiko Conference in San Diego

    Central Oregon Community College – Asian Pacific Islander Festival-

    Portland Community College Culture SEast Event

             Battle Ground Library

            Cascade Park Library

            Gresham Library

            Hillsdale Library

            Midland Library

           North Bonneville library

           The Three creeks Library

           The Mall Library

           Tigard Library

           Vancouver Library

           West Linn Library

           White Salmon Valley Library