The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble features master drummer Kenny Endo on Taiko (Japanese drum) and Japanese percussion. Synthesizing traditional Japanese drumming techniques, world musical rhythms, and western jazz percussion styles, taiko master Kenny Endo is a leading force in contemporary taiko performance in the U.S. and Japan. The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble plays original compositions for taiko, koto (Japanese zither), fue (bamboo flutes), and other Japanese traditional instruments highlighting the new dimensions Endo is bringing to an old Japanese art.
three ensembles under the name Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. They are
based in Honolulu, Tokyo, and the mainland U.S.A.
Endo has two other CDs containing all original compositions. Recorded live in Tokyo, they are "Hibiki" (Resonance) (1998) and "Jugoya" (Crystal Clear Moon) (2000). "Hibiki" features the Tokyo Ensemble with special guests including Japanese noh theatre musician and classical Japanese drummer Tosha Kiyonari. "Jugoya" features the Tokyo Ensemble and special guests HIros Nakagawa on bansuri (traditional bamboo flute of India); vibraphone virtuoso Hitoshi Hamada; and Endo's Honolulu based dynamic taiko drummers.
The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble of Tokyo made its U.S. debut concert/lecture/demonstration tour in Hawaii in spring 1996, receiving standing ovations by sold-out crowds at every concert.About Kenny Endo
Born and raised in Los Angeles, KENNY ENDO began 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 first with Kinnara Taiko of Los Angeles and then with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. In 1980, he went to Japan to further his study of taiko drumming for ten years. He has studied and performed with masters in the Sukeroku, Suwa, Gojinjo, and Chichibu styles of group drumming. Endo is the first non-Japanese national to ever receive a 'natori' (stage name) in Hogaku Hayashi (Japanese classical drumming). He is known as MOCHIZUKI TAJIRO in the classical Hogaku world. Endo also performs the Wakayama style of Edo Bayashi (festival music of Edo). Endo has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Japan as well as internationally, including such countries as the U.S.S.R., England, France, Germany, Belgium, Egypt, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Canada, and Australia. Working with musicians in various genre, he has paved new directions in using the traditional taiko, bringing a refreshing and creative approach to music through his background in western, ethnic, and traditional Japanese drumming.
Find all the latest on Kenny Endo here.
Endo Receives HSFCA's Individual Artist Award
Kenny Endo's taiko drums are provided by Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten of Tokyo, Japan.
© 2004 Taiko Center of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA