Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Foremost American Taiko Artist, Kenny Endo, to perform in Tokyo on April 24 and April 30

Master Taiko Artist Kenny Endo Photo by Lia Chang

Master Taiko Artist Kenny Endo Photo by Lia Chang


One of the foremost names on the American wadaiko scene, Kenny Endo, returns to Tokyo for 2 engagements on April 24 at Shibuya’s O-West and on April 30 at Minami Aoyama’s “Mandala.” The concert at the Mandala is called “Mitsudomoe – Mind, Body, Spirit.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Endo began early training in western drums and percussion. He began his taiko career with the first two kumi-taiko groups established outside of Japan – L.A.’s groundbreaking Kinnara Taiko, and then with the renowned San Francisco Taiko Dojo. In 1980, he embarked on a decade-long odyssey in his ancestral Japan, studying and performing with Osuwa Daiko, Sukeroku Taiko, Oedo Sukeroku Taiko, Hogaku Hayashi with Mochizuki Ryu, and Matsuri Bayashi with Maru Kenjiro He has the honor of being the first foreigner to have received a “natori” in hogaku hayashi.

In the greater musical world in America, “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with the word “taiko.” He is one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the traditional and his own globally-inspired style. Endo also has an MA in Ethnomusicology and is highly sought after for educational programs and workshops.

Endo has recorded five CDs of original taiko compositions and was a featured artist on the TV special “Spirit of Taiko” in America. He has performed for musicians Michael Jackson, and Prince as well as the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles. He has performed with Japanese musicians Hayashi Eitetsu (taiko), Sato Michihiro (Tsugaru shamisen), Semba Kiyohiko (percussion), Watanabe Kazumi (jazz guitar), Uzaki Ryudo (rock & roll), Koinuma Hiroyuki, Leonard Eto, Hirota Joji, John Kaizan Neptune, Christopher Yohmei Blaisdel, Amanojaku, and many others. He opened for The Who, performed a duet with singer Bobby McFerrin, and is featured on the soundtracks of Kayo Hatta’s “Picture Bride,” and “Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now.” He also recorded in motion capture suit for James Cameron’s “Avatar.” He has also performed as guest soloist with the Honolulu Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, traveling across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, the former Soviet Union, and the Americas in his effort to share taiko with the world.

Endo performs with Tokyo’s Oedo Sukeroku Taiko on Sunday, April 24 at 12 noon at Shibuya’s O-West Live House. Tickets are: 3500 (advance) or 3800 (at the door).
For tickets, call: Denshi Chiketto Pia: 0570-02-9999 (P Code: 132-235)

Endo performs with a stellar ensemble on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 pm at Minami Aoyama’s “Mandala” live house. Featured musicians will include: Semba Kiyohiko (drums, percussion), Hamada Hitoshi (vibraphones), Suzuki Kyosuke (yokobue), Takahashi Kaori (violin).
Tickets: 3600 yen
For ticket reservations, contact Mandala: 03-5474-0411
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster.

For more information, visit: www.kennyendo.com
Contact: taikoarts@gmail.com

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Photos and Video of Kenny Endo’s TAIKO THUNDER at Skirball Center in NYC
Vikas Khanna’s Holy Kitchens Karma to Nirvana premieres at New York Indian Film Festival on 5/7 at Tribeca Cinemas
32nd Annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival at Union Square Park in NYC on May 8, 2011
11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), May 4-8, 2011
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival: April 30 and May 1, 2011
André De Shields stars in Chicago Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens 5/14-6/12
Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys and Sidney Poitier Among Honorees at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom on May 22
Philip Glass, Hal Willner, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto in Japan Society’s Concert for Japan in NYC
Join Minami Tamaki LLP & Inspirational Opportunities for Youth and Seniors (IOYS) in Helping Victims of Japan Earthquake
Restaurants Respond for Relief, Chef Arnold Wong Hosts Benefit for Japan Night at E&O Trading Co. in SF
Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund
National Cherry Blossom Festival Invites Public to Stand with Japan
Photos: A.B. Cruz III and Lillian Kimura Receive 2011 AALDEF Justice in Action Awards
The Dish on Susur Lee and Shang
Photos: Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington in San Marino
Photos & Video Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas-In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.


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All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com.

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.
As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.
Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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