New ArtWorks! story: San Jose Taiko
Internationally preeminent drum ensemble's artistic directors retire and earn recognition at National Heritage Awards
For almost 40 years, San Jose Taiko has kept the drum sounding in one of the three remaining Japantowns in the United States (the other two are San Francisco and Los Angeles). But the popularity of the art form makes San Jose Taiko much in demand all over the state, nation and world. Having played in small community centers and at Carnegie Hall, the ensemble was also the first American taiko drum group invited to perform in Japan. With long-time founders and artistic directors Roy and P.J. Hirabayahi turning over the helm to Wisa Uemura and Franco Imperial, the next generation continues a remarkable tradition.