TAIKO, founded in 1976, is an ensemble of third, fourth and fifth generation
Japanese Americans honoring our cultural heritage through the exhilarating
performance art of taiko. Our current cast of fourteen musicians range
from energetic and talented teens to accomplished veterans who have
performed with Denver Taiko from the very beginning.
Early inspiration for our founding members
came through a visit to Denver by Sensei
Seiichi Tanaka, the taiko master who brought this art form to the
United States, first to San Francisco. He is considered by players in
America to be the father of taiko.
The workshop conducted in Denver by Sensei
Tanaka in those early days gave these young people a deep appreciation
for the history of the art and the fundamentals of its performance.
These and later members have continued to expand their experiences in
Taiko over the years through participation in workshops and visits with
sister groups in Japan and the U.S.
In keeping with the tradition of the music,
Denver Taiko has become known for its own unique performance style and
personality. We have become an important part of Colorado and the West's
cultural landscape, playing at concerts, festivals and diversity celebrations
throughout the region. The group was honored in 2001 by Denver's Mayor
Wellington Webb when we received the Mayor's annual awardfor Excellence
in the Arts.
In the summer of 2003, the Japanese Consulate
sponsored a 3-week workshop for the group in Denver by thefamous taiko
master, Sensei Yoichi Watanabe (pictured on the right) from Tokyo, Japan.
He was assisted by his prize student and protege, Isaku Kageyama, himself
a national taiko champion in Japan. The close, personal attention our
members received from these brilliant artists and teachers instilled
in the entire group an even deeper appreciation, knowledge and mastery
of this craft.
You will observe how seriously we take
our commitment to making this music by our "ki", the energy
and emotion of our performance. But don't be fooled - we're having fun,
and we hope you will too.