Workshop Leaders

Our 15 fantastic workshop leaders are as follows:

Stuart Paton playing an atarigane.


After growing up in Tokyo and a summer apprenticeship under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, Stuart Paton became the Founder and Artistic Director of Burlington Taiko in 1986. His affection for the group dynamic of taiko is evident both when he performs at the most advanced level, and when he instructs the most novice players. You can learn a little more about him by watching his interview here.


Chizuko Endo, Managing Director of Taiko Center of the Pacific, has been playing taiko for over 35 years. Chizuko has studied classical, festival, and gagaku styles of Japanese music and currently specializes in instruction of the Osuwa and Sukeroku styles of taiko. She has performed throughout the world with Oedo Sukeroku Taiko (Tokyo) and the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble.


Kenny Endo, Artistic Director of Taiko Center of the Pacific, is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation.


Currently a Boston Artist in Residence (AIR), Karen Young is an original member of Odaiko New England and founder of The Genki Spark. Influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 70s, Karen is most interested in using taiko as well as organizing strategies to empower, engage, and inspire people into action – reclaiming voice, culture, and a sense of belonging.


Mark H Rooney – the world’s most dangerous half-Japanese/half-Scottish solo improvisational taiko artist – is a dynamic and talented performer with a passion for teaching taiko. In addition to serving as Odaiko New England’s Artistic Director from 2008 – 2010, Mark was the principal architect and instructor for their widely successful classes and workshops. He has taught in after-school programs and colleges, as well as the Mark H Rooney Taiko School for his growing number of students in the DC area.


After seven years studying with San Francisco Taiko Dojo, Yuta Kato was a leader of UCLA Kyodo Taiko before moving to Japan to study at Nihon Taiko Dojo and on Hachijo island. He performed professionally with On Ensemble, TAIKOPROJECT, Portland Taiko, and coordinated the 2011 North American Taiko Conference before turning his attention to taiko teaching. Kato is Principal at LATI, where he is dedicated to student success and community building.


Tiffany Tamaribuchi, an internationally recognized taiko master, has achieved a level of acclaim in trailblazing fashion. In the traditional taiko realm of Japanese born and trained male performers, she creates a new powerful voice with her multicultural heritage, youth, and feminine perspective. Ms. Tamaribuchi’s determination and perseverance, through long hours of grueling practice in her initial studies, transformed her sense of life’s possibilities, which she now does for others.


As known as her buddhist name Laiyo, Yoko Nakahashi is an award winning contemporary composer, founder of Navy Yard Taiko, and taiko instructor for various institutions. Yoko has written music and performed live sound effects for many theater groups, martial arts troops, and dance companies. She has performed and taught workshops internationally and is certified to teach the music of Osuwa Daiko.


In 1979, Soh Daiko was established as the first taiko drumming group on the East Coast under the guidance of the New York Buddhist Church. Soh Daiko’s current membership numbers about 10, with diverse backgrounds and professions. In addition to drums, the group incorporates accessories such as bamboo flutes, brass bells, conch shells, gongs, African shekere, and Tahitian toere (wooden slit drum). Soh Daiko has participated in many local cultural festivities such as Brooklyn Botanic Gardens’ Cherry Blossom Festival, Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival, The Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival, Japan Day Festival in Central Park, and Summerstage.


Native of Japan, Fumi Tanakadate is a taiko artist and pianist based in New York. Having a unique combination of an extensive musical expertise in European Classical music and a background in traditional folk dancing, drumming and flute playing from her local festival in Japan, she quickly became an active member of Néo, Kaoru Watanabe’s ensemble that aims to blend the nostalgic sound of Japanese traditional festival and theater and the interplay of complex jazz improvisations.


Joe Small is a professional taiko artist and Assistant Professor of Dance at Swarthmore College.  Since 2012 Joe has been a disciple of of pioneering taiko artist Eitetsu Hayashi and sole non-Japanese member of his professional ensemble, Fu-Un no Kai.  His background includes initial instruction under Kenny Endo, the Kodo apprenticeship (2007-2009) and touring as a member of Taikoza (NYC) and TaikOz (Sydney).  As a solo artist based in Philadelphia, Joe often utilizes elements of postmodern choreography, and has performed and taught in a variety of contexts throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Spain, Switzerland, and Japan  


Isaku Kageyama is a taiko performer, educator, and recording artist based in Los Angeles, CA.  His resume includes performances on networks such as NBC and VH1, venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and tours of across North, South, and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. His knowledge of composition, production, and Japanese music have led to a resume that includes brands such as BET, VH1, NBC, Microsoft, and the world’s largest taiko manufacturer Asano Taiko.


Young Park was born in South Korea moving to Boston, Massachusetts when she was 7. As Artistic Director of Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers, Young brings an extensive background in the performing arts and has created numerous original choreography. She is interested in the combination of movement and music and is currently drawn to taiko’s boiled down essence of movement and rhythm drawn from the primal energy of the drum. In RAW, Young works with a community of strong Asian women dedicated to cooperative principles of learning and making powerful music, bringing a traditional form into a modern context for mutual empowerment and spreading positive ripples throughout society.



Kristofer Bergstrom is an accomplished taiko performer, composer, and choreographer, known for pushing the tonal possibilities of Japanese drums and for his groundbreaking choreography for slant-style taiko. He was a founding member of On Ensemble, formed Los Angeles Taiko Institute alongside Yuta Kato, was 2018 Artist in Residence for the City of Los Angeles, and was 2019 Asano Taiko US Artist in Residence.


Shoji Kameda is a Grammy nominated musician, composer and producer. He started playing taiko at the age of 8 and has played continuously since. He was selected through a highly competitive process as an Asian Pacific Performance Exchange fellow, collaborating with master artists from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the USA. A founding member of On Ensemble, his compositions for taiko are performed around the world.

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: