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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Krannert Center Events: April 2022: Kenny Endo Contemporary Taiko: Breaking Through Tradition to Innovation

Event Details

Kenny Endo stands at the vanguard of the taiko genre as one of the leading personas in contemporary percussion and rhythm in North America and Japan. For 45 years, he has led the way in this Japanese style of drumming in the United States, and he is celebrating with his 2022 tour.

As a jazz percussionist and early innovator in Japanese taiko, Kenny Endo’s adventurous spirit stretches the taiko genre, incorporating funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Hawaiian influences, with roots firmly grounded in tradition. Endo tours with his Contemporary Ensemble, featuring prominent artists and long-time collaborators Kaoru Watanabe, flutes; Abe Lagrimas, vibes, drumkit, and ‘ukulele; and Sumie Kaneko, koto and shamisen. Endo has received numerous awards and accolades, including special recognition in Japan as he was the first non-national to be honored with a natori, a stage name, in Japanese classical drumming. He was a featured artist on the 2005 PBS special Spirit of Taiko as well as on several film soundtracks including Apocalypse Now.

Friday, April 22nd - 7:30pm CT

Tyron Festival Theater

See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.

Discover at the Libraries

... more books about Taiko.

... more recordings of Taiko ensembles.