On Taikoza's website, the drums or taiko that the group performs on are described as: "a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder." What perfect timing it was, then, that Taikoza performed this past Saturday, a day filled with rumbling thunder of its own as sporadic showers swept through the Houston area.
Taikoza was founded in New York in 1995 by Marco Lienhard, a member of Ondekoza, the group that originally popularized the art of taiko drum-playing in the '60s.
It now has six main members: Malika Tasuko Duckworth, Marguerite Bunyan, Chikako Saito, Yoshiko Canada, Kenji Nakano and Mashayo Ishigure. Taikoza has performed all over the world, from Russia to New York (and Houston), and for all sorts of audiences: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, ESPN S.U.M.O.: The Battle of the Giants, Dell Computers, Merrill Lynch, etc. They also perform philanthropically, teaching students in schools in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Virginia to play drums as part of Young Audiences and Symphony Space program.
Though designated in name as a spotlight on the large drum, there were smaller drums present during the performance, including a portion where the group members patted on what appeared to be snare drums, making thrumming heartbeat sounds with their sticks. We would begin to notice that the drums would come to represent the blood-pumping organ throughout the night.More »