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Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble 

40th Anniversary Tour!

Saturday / March 5, 2016 / 7:00pm

With 40 years of uninterrupted concertizing, composing and teaching, Kenny Endo is recognized as a world leader in the Taiko movement. Born in LA and based in Hawaii, he trained as a jazz musician and played in L.A.’s legendary Kinnara Taiko and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. While living in Japan he immersed himself studying and performing with the masters of classical Kabuki music, traditional festival music, and ensemble drumming. Endo has the honor of being the first non-Japanese national to have received a natori (stage name & masters degree) in hogaku hayashi (classical drumming). Endo’s professional name in Japan is Mochizuki Tajiro.

Kenny Endo brings to the ARATANI audience the mind expanding rhythms and melodies culminating 40 years of study, practice, creativity and teaching. His uncompromising love of Japanese taiko provide the foundation for a musical vision that combines Japanese and Western sounds and rhythms. Internationally respected for his love of collaboration this milestone tour brings a vast array of traditional Japanese drums with the sounds of vibes, drum set, ukulele, classical Japanese flute, and koto. He is joined on stage by Kaoru Watanabe- Fue and taiko, Abe Lagrimas Jrvibraphone, ukulele, drums, Shoko HikageKoto and Derek Nakamotokeyboards.

KENNY ENDO’s ability to interweave…traditional taiko style with jazz drumming has enabled him to create an incredibly dynamic style…that captivates…literally breathtaking. (The Grateful Web, NY)

Photo Credits: Darian Wong, Shuzo Uemoto, Ken Berry


…sensitive and dynamically controlled KENNY ENDO is a pioneer of avant garde Taiko drumming. Beautiful and passionate, his music is a celebration of artistry guiding us from the past, to the present and into the future.

Aratani Theatre

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012


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Kenny Endo In Performance

The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble of Tokyo performs Clarity, from Kenny Endo’s first CD, “Eternal Energy.” (excerpt)

Kenny Endo at TEDxHonolulu