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Spirtual Common Sense Real Talk

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Silas Morgan
Silas Morgan

Afro Taiko !EXCLUSIVE!


This unique, two hour workshop will be held at Hoover Theater and will include a demonstration by the instructors. The workshop is limited to only 12 drum stations, which can be shared by 2-3 members of the same family or pod. Partnering for taiko is a fun way to share the experience and build relationships, so we encourage families to play together!




Afro Taiko



Kenny Endo stands at the vanguard of the taiko genre as one of the leading personas in contemporary percussion and rhythm in North America and Japan. For 45 years, he has led the way in this Japanese style of drumming in the United States, and he is celebrating with his 2022 tour.


TaikoArts Midwest is a MN based nonprofit with a mission to develop, produce and promote artistic excellence in taiko performance, using taiko to strengthen and build communities in the Midwest. We support two resident professional taiko groups, Enso Daiko and ensemble-MA.


My dissertation examines music, migration, and belonging in Salvador, Brazil through the lens of two percussion ensembles: Grupo Cultural Wadō and Nataka Toshia. Wadō is a taiko (Japanese percussion) ensemble comprised of both Nikkei and non-Nikkei Brazilians, who are in the majority. In contrast, Nataka Toshia is a samba and samba-reggae group that performs during Carnival and is comprised of Japanese expatriates, tourists, and backpackers. Through oral history interviews, participant observation, and documenting performances and music practices, I explore histories of Japanese migration to Brazil and Bahia, exploring new kinds of migration related to art, music, and lifestyle considerations. I consider how and why Bahians who were not Japanese descendants played taiko, discussing how multiracial Wadō members forged relationships with the Bahian Nikkei community and engaged in body practices meant to mold Japanese bodies and inculcate perceived Japanese values. I consider the possibility of a distinctly Brazilian taiko, noting that playing Afro-Bahian rhythms on Japanese drums clashes with ideas tradition and authenticity in some Brazilian taiko communities of practice, but it also challenges the idea of Nikkei as eternal foreigners in Brazil. I explore the close relationships between LGBTQIA+ communities in Bahia and Japanese pop culture consumption, showing how Japanese governmental campaigns increased access to anime and manga in Latin America. I describe collaborations between Brazilian taiko players and Japanese sambistas. I argue that narratives from and about Japanese tourists and expatriates playing samba in Brazil is closely related to anxiety about loss in Japan because of Westernization, as well as widespread discourses about Japanese mimicry and racial hierarchies in both Brazil and Japan. Finally, I analyze intragroup dynamics, considering how group musical practices may contribute to peaceful relations between individuals through intercorporeal relationships. Ultimately, I argue that music practice spaces are utopias and heterotopias; they are spaces apart from mainstream society where communities of practice imagine better worlds and work to create peaceful relationships with one another without denying or erasing difference. My research contributes to literature on music, migration, and transnationalism, examining the experiences of a migrant community in Brazil since 1908 and its impact on host communities. It is also part of a broader conversation on cultural appropriation, outsiders, and who can play whose music in culturally specific contexts. Further, transcreations (extended interview texts) in my dissertation are an experiment and possible model on how to present multiple voices in a scholarly work, where researchers can highlight life stories of interlocutors and place them in conversation with one another.


My dissertation examines music, migration, and belonging in Salvador, Brazil through the lens of two percussion ensembles: Grupo Cultural Wad\u014D and Nataka Toshia. Wad\u014D is a taiko (Japanese percussion) ensemble comprised of both Nikkei and non-Nikkei Brazilians, who are in the majority. In contrast, Nataka Toshia is a samba and samba-reggae group that performs during Carnival and is comprised of Japanese expatriates, tourists, and backpackers. Through oral history interviews, participant observation, and documenting performances and music practices, I explore histories of Japanese migration to Brazil and Bahia, exploring new kinds of migration related to art, music, and lifestyle considerations. I consider how and why Bahians who were not Japanese descendants played taiko, discussing how multiracial Wad\u014D members forged relationships with the Bahian Nikkei community and engaged in body practices meant to mold Japanese bodies and inculcate perceived Japanese values. I consider the possibility of a distinctly Brazilian taiko, noting that playing Afro-Bahian rhythms on Japanese drums clashes with ideas tradition and authenticity in some Brazilian taiko communities of practice, but it also challenges the idea of Nikkei as eternal foreigners in Brazil. I explore the close relationships between LGBTQIA+ communities in Bahia and Japanese pop culture consumption, showing how Japanese governmental campaigns increased access to anime and manga in Latin America. I describe collaborations between Brazilian taiko players and Japanese sambistas. I argue that narratives from and about Japanese tourists and expatriates playing samba in Brazil is closely related to anxiety about loss in Japan because of Westernization, as well as widespread discourses about Japanese mimicry and racial hierarchies in both Brazil and Japan. Finally, I analyze intragroup dynamics, considering how group musical practices may contribute to peaceful relations between individuals through intercorporeal relationships. Ultimately, I argue that music practice spaces are utopias and heterotopias; they are spaces apart from mainstream society where communities of practice imagine better worlds and work to create peaceful relationships with one another without denying or erasing difference. \nMy research contributes to literature on music, migration, and transnationalism, examining the experiences of a migrant community in Brazil since 1908 and its impact on host communities. It is also part of a broader conversation on cultural appropriation, outsiders, and who can play whose music in culturally specific contexts. Further, transcreations (extended interview texts) in my dissertation are an experiment and possible model on how to present multiple voices in a scholarly work, where researchers can highlight life stories of interlocutors and place them in conversation with one another. \n


Below is a list of sources for purchasing materials for building drums. If you know of a source not listed below, or encounter problems with a source and believe it should not be listed, please contact us at info@taikosource.com.


Our thanks to Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko for sharing many of these sources with us! Also, thanks to Thomas Goedecke for his contributions, including a list of sources he shared with the Facebook Taiko Community ( -community/taiko-building-materials-and-resources/275207859250449).


Chizuko Endo has been playing taiko for over 40 years; first with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, then Osuwa Taiko of Nagano, Oedo Sukeroku Taiko of Tokyo, and currently with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble and Taiko Center of the Pacific. She has performed throughout the world with Oedo Sukeroku Taiko (Tokyo) and the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble.


Brock Asato began studying taiko at age 4 with Taiko Center of the Pacific.He was featured in an HBO special on talented youth focusing on his taiko pursuits. He joined the Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group early on and became a central player and leader of the group. He has participated in numerous North American Taiko Conferences taking workshops with such taiko leaders as Seiichi Tanaka sensei, Hiroyuki Hayashida, Shoji Kameda, Masato Baba, Kris Bergstrom, and more. Brock is the Director of the Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group and performing member of the Taiko Center of the Pacific adult performing ensemble.


Elizabeth comes from a background of classical and liturgical choral music, having been trained in singing and musical expression by her father. In 2011 she moved to Toyama, Japan as an English teacher with the JET Program, and there she began learning taiko under Ryuichi Yoshinari, a former Oedo Sukeroku Daiko member, and shinobue (Japanese transverse bamboo flute) under Yuko Haoka. After five years in Toyama, Elizabeth moved back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri and played with St. Louis Suwa Taiko for two years. She also began furthering her shinobue studies remotely under Kaoru Watanabe (based in New York). In 2018, she was one of the recipients of the TCP Fellowship and moved to Honolulu to study, perform, and teach at Taiko Center of the Pacific. Elizabeth is currently a TCP Performing Ensemble member.


Taiko Arts Center (TAC) promotes and fosters an appreciation of the art of taiko through education, preservation, collaboration, and innovation. TAC adopts and supports the vision of Kenny Endo Sensei that tradition is the basis of innovation and taiko bridges cultures and promotes peace. TAC depends on donations and fundraisers to realize its goals and programs. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to TAC today!Visit Taiko Arts Center's Site


As a jazz percussionist and early innovator in Japanese taiko, Kenny Endo stretches the taiko genre, incorporating influences like funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Hawaiian, with roots firmly grounded in tradition. With 40 years of performing and touring, he continues to lead the way in this Japanese style of drumming. 041b061a72


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