“Art of Taiko with Kenny Endo” is a lecture/demonstration on the art of performing with taiko (Japanese drums). This unique cultural and educational program introduces drums and percussion instruments of Japan as used in traditional and contemporary music. The taiko is boundless in its expression.

Kenny Endo was born and raised in Los Angeles, and he began his early training in western drums and percussion for performance with jazz, fusion, and classical artists. He discovered his roots through the Japanese taiko and in 1975 began working with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, a school of traditional Japanese drumming. He spent ten years in Japan to further his studies of taiko drumming, studying, and performing with masters in the Sukeroku, Suwa, Gojinjo, and Chichibu styles of group drumming. He is the first foreigner to ever receive a “natori” (stage name) in Hogaku Hayashi (Japanese classical drumming). He has performed extensively throughout the United States and Japan as well as the U.S.S.R., Europe, Egypt, North and South America, Asia, and Australia. He has paved new directions in using the traditional taiko, bringing a refreshing and creative approach to his music.

Taiko Center of the Pacific (TCP) is a school and performing group of traditional and contemporary Japanese drumming. Established in 1994 by taiko master Kenny Endo and his wife, Chizuko, the school offers year-round pubic classes in taiko drumming for all ages and all skill levels. They have been entertaining local and international audiences ever since. Currently, their students range in age from 2-86. Kenny Endo is a performer, composer and educator in addition to being the Artistic Director of the Center. He is part of the vanguard of the taiko movement and is actively sought after for performances and educational programs both locally and abroad. People from all over the world come to study at Taiko Center of the Pacific.


In-residence workshops are available in taiko drumming basics for upper elementary ages through adults. Residencies are led by Endo or his assistants from the Taiko Center of the Pacific, a school of traditional and contemporary Japanese drumming. Drums or tires and sticks are necessary.


• Covered performing space, 12’ x 16’
• Access to dressing rooms (not restroom)
• 1-small table 3’x5’ (ideal=20 ft wide x 12 ft deep)
• Drinking water
• Microphone for groups 50 or more or if program is outdoors

Age Level Appropriateness: All ages
Type of Program: Lecture/Demonstration, short and long-term residency
Program length: 45 to 60 minutes