New Interview: Carrie Carter

We’re happy to release a new interview in our series! This time, we sat down with Carrie Carter of All Things Taiko. Carrie is one of the original members of Ohio’s premier taiko group, Icho Daiko, founded in 2004. She has also performed with Seattle Kokon Taiko, O • Daiko (大 • 鼓, Hong Kong), and Shippu Uchi Daiko (疾風打太鼓, Japan) with Ryo Shimamoto (嶋本 龍). A pioneer in the world of taiko blogging, Carrie is the creator of All Things Taiko (www.allthingstaiko.blogspot.com), an instructional resource for those interested in learning to play taiko. She received her MPhil. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hong Kong for her research on the history and development of taiko as an art form.

During our discussion, we talked with Carrie about her performance background, her experience learning, playing, and teaching taiko in different places around the world, and her blogging activities. Visit the interview page to check it out!

Carrie Carter


Recorded August 5, 2017. 66 minute, 44.8 MB mp3 file.

Carrie Carter is one of the original members of Ohio’s premier taiko group, Icho Daiko, founded in 2004. She has also performed with Seattle Kokon Taiko, O • Daiko (大 • 鼓, Hong Kong), and Shippu Uchi Daiko (疾風打太鼓, Japan) with Ryo Shimamoto (嶋本 龍).

A pioneer in the world of taiko blogging, Carrie is the creator of All Things Taiko (www.allthingstaiko.blogspot.com), an instructional resource for those interested in learning to play taiko. She received her MPhil. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hong Kong for her research on the history and development of taiko as an art form.

With a particular focus on body care and alignment, Carrie has instructed taiko ensembles in The United States, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, and Morocco. She currently resides in Kobe, Japan.

During our discussion, we talked with Carrie about her performance background, her experience learning, playing, and teaching taiko in different places around the world, and her blogging activities.

New Interview: Ai Matsuda

We’re happy to release the latest in the TaikoSource interview series! This time, I spoke with Ai Matsuda. Born and raised in Japan before moving to Hawaii at the age of 16, Aichan has played with Hawaii Matsuri Taiko and the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, and has studied with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, Yuu Ishizuka, Classical Japanese music (Kabuki Bayashi) from Saburo Mochizuki, and Edo Bayashi/Shinobue/Shishimai from Kyosuke Suzuki of the Taneo Wakayama School of Wakayama Shachu.

During our conversation, we talk about Aichan’s experiences playing taiko in Hawaii, the mainland United States, and Japan. Aichan discusses the various roles that taiko has had in her life, the various identities that taiko has taken on, and how her relationship with taiko has changed over time.

Visit the interview page to listen to or download the recording!

Ai Matsuda


Recorded June 20, 2017. 61 minute, 41.7 MB mp3 file.

Born and raised in Japan until the age of 16, Ai Matsuda moved to Hawaii to study English. There she began to play Taiko with the Hawaii Matsuri Taiko lead by Mrs. Faye Komagata, her aunt at the Ryusenji Soto Mission Buddhist temple in Wahiawa, Hawaii. She then had the opportunities to learn from the Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo (recipient of the 2001 National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts), Kiyonari Tosha of the Nihon Taiko Dojo in Tokyo, PJ & Roy Hirabayashi of the San Jose Taiko, Etsuo Hongo of the Los Angeles Matsuri Taiko, and Kenny Endo of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble in Honolulu, Hawaii. She became a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble in 1999, performing both in Hawaii and the mainland U.S. with Endo and other professional musicians. She has taught adults and kids classes at the Taiko Center of the Pacific. In 2011, she returned to Tokyo, Japan, and now continues her learning Taiko from Yuu Ishizuka, Classical Japanese music (Kabuki Bayashi) from Saburo Mochizuki, and Edo Bayashi/Shinobue/Shishimai from Kyosuke Suzuki of the Taneo Wakayama School of Wakayama Shachu recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Culture to be an “important intangible cultural property of Japanese fine arts”.

During our conversation, we talk about Aichan’s experiences playing taiko in Hawaii, the mainland United States, and Japan. Aichan discusses the various roles that taiko has had in her life, the various identities that taiko has taken on, and how her relationship with taiko has changed over time.

New Interview: James Beale

We’re happy to announce the next in our Interview series! This time, Ben spoke with James Beale. Relocating from the UK to the United Arab Emirates in 2014, James founded Shoten Taiko in Dubai, the first Taiko group based locally in the Middle East. In this discussion, we talk about his taiko journey, how playing taiko helped as he relocated to Dubai, and the idiosyncrasies that come with being the first taiko group in the Middle East.

Visit the interview page to check it out!

James Beale


Recorded June 10, 2017. 38.1 MB, 56 minute mp3 file.

Relocating from the UK to the United Arab Emirates in 2014, James Beale founded Shoten Taiko in Dubai, the first Taiko group based locally in the Middle East.

In this discussion, we talk about his taiko journey, how playing taiko helped as he relocated to Dubai, and the idiosyncrasies that come with being the first taiko group in the Middle East.

New Interview: Jennifer Weir

We’re happy to announce the release of another TaikoSource interview! This time, Ben spoke with Jennifer Weir of TaikoArts Midwest! In our discussion, we talk about Jennifer’s background and performance history, where taiko fits into her own journey, and the path from Theater Mu to Mu Daiko to TaikoArts Midwest, along with the challenges that come with starting a new taiko organization.

Visit the interview page to check it out!

Jennifer Weir


Recorded May 20, 2017. 39.2 MB, 60 minute mp3 file.

Jennifer Weir has been passionately studying, performing, teaching and composing taiko for the past two decades. She is the founding Executive Director of TaikoArts Midwest, Artistic Director of Ensō Daiko (formerly Mu Daiko), and a performing member of ensemble-MA, led by Iris Shiraishi. She is also a theater director and dramaturg with Theater Mu and a past recipient of grants from the Live Music for Dance MN, MN State Arts Board, MN Regional Arts Board, Arts International, American Composers Forum and Jerome MN Travel Grant. She credits Iris Shiraishi and Rick Shiomi with inspiring and mentoring her throughout her taiko career.

In our discussion, we talk about Jennifer’s background and performance history, where taiko fits into her own journey, and the path from Theater Mu to Mu Daiko to TaikoArts Midwest, along with the challenges that come with starting a new taiko organization.

New Interview: Brian Sole

We’re happy to release the latest in the TaikoSource Interview series! This time, Ben spoke with Brian Sole, director of Great Lakes Taiko Center and its performance group Raion Taiko. In our interview, we discuss Brian’s journey to Japan and back, and how taiko fit within this journey. We also talk about creating a taiko school and a taiko performance scene, and how one carves out a niche for oneself in a the cultural environment of a region.

Visit the interview page to listen to the interview or download the mp3!

Brian Sole


Recorded January 30, 2017. 37.5 MB, 56 minute mp3 file.

Brian Sole is the director of the Great Lakes Taiko Center and its performance ensemble Raion Taiko. In our interview, we discuss Brian’s journey to Japan and back, and how taiko fit within this journey. We also talk about creating a taiko school and a taiko performance scene, and how one carves out a niche for oneself in a the cultural environment of a region.