Kiyoshi Nagata

Recorded March 30, 2017. 47.4 MB, 69 minute mp3 file.

From the Nagata Shatchu website:

Kiyoshi Nagata, the ensemble’s artistic director, is Canada’s preeminent taiko soloist who has been performing in a career that spans 33 years. His principal studies were with Daihachi Oguchi (as artistic director and performer of the Toronto-based, Suwa Daiko from 1982 to 1992) and with Kodo (as an apprentice from 1993 to 1994). With the assistance of a Chalmers Performing Arts Training Grant in 1999, Kiyoshi studied classical percussion with Paul Houle at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Since 1998 Kiyoshi has taught a credit course in taiko at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. In September 2003, he began teaching a public course at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. For eight years, he instructed two community groups, Isshin Daiko in Toronto and Do-Kon Daiko in Burlington, which he helped establish in 1995. Kiyoshi is also regularly invited by universities and taiko groups to conduct workshops and present lectures.

In 1994, Kiyoshi founded the cross-cultural percussion ensemble, Humdrum, whose debut Toronto performance was ranked fourth in Now Magazine’s “Top Ten Concerts of 1995”. He has composed and performed taiko music for dance, theatre, film and radio and continues to collaborate with artists from all genres of music including traditional Japanese instrumentalists.

We spoke with Kiyoshi in advance of the release of Nagata Shachu’s Toronto Taiko Tales DVD and a series of concerts April 7-9 celebrating this release.

During our conversation, we covered a wide range of topics, including Kiyoshi’s performance background, playing taiko in Toronto, the act of collaboration, teaching taiko in a university setting, and the troubles of recording taiko.

The Discover Nikkei interview mentioned during the conversation can be found here.

New Interview with Mark H Rooney

We’ve added another interview to the collection, this time with taiko performer and teacher Mark H Rooney! During our discussion, we talk about Mark’s taiko journey, his thoughts on taiko pedagogy, and how to move cities and maintain a career as both performer and teacher.

Follow the link to listen to the interview or download the mp3!

Mark H Rooney


Recorded January 31, 2017. 36.5 MB, 54 minute mp3 file.

From Mark H Rooney’s website:

Mark H Rooney – the world’s most dangerous half-Japanese/half-Scottish solo improvisational taiko artist – studies, performs, and teaches taiko, a dynamic form of full-body drumming based in Japanese tradition. Mark combines this traditional foundation with a modern sensibility to create performances and classes that emphasize connection, reaction, and interaction.

During our discussion, we talk about Mark’s taiko journey, his thoughts on taiko pedagogy, and how to move cities and maintain a career as both performer and teacher.

Jonathan Kirby


Recorded October 8, 2015. 47 minute, 34.4 MB mp3 file.

Jonathan is founder of Kagemusha Taiko from Devon, United Kingdom. We discuss the origins of Kagemusha Taiko, the goals and philosophies that have driven its development and activities, and the upcoming European Taiko Conference.

New Interview with Gastón San Cristobal

It’s October, and with the new month comes a new Interview! Today we’re featuring our interview with Gastón San Cristobal. Gastón is co-founder and director of ESTO ES TAIKO, the first magazine outside of Japan dedicated to taiko performance. He is also a member of Shinzui Daiko in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and currently is studying in Japan at the University of Tsukuba. In this interview, we talk about his performance history, taiko in Argentina, and his life as a consumer of all things taiko-related as he studies in Japan.

Click on the link to visit the interview page, where you can listen to the interview or download a mp3 so you can listen later!

Gastón San Cristobal


Recorded July 29, 2015. 59 minute, 49 MB mp3 file.

Gastón is co-founder and director of ESTO ES TAIKO, the first magazine outside of Japan dedicated to taiko performance. He is also a member of Shinzui Daiko in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and currently is studying in Japan at the University of Tsukuba.

In this interview, we talk about his performance history, taiko in Argentina, and his life as a consumer of all things taiko-related as he studies at the University of Tsukuba.

Isabel Romeo Biedma


Recorded July 28, 2015. 41.4 MB, 60 minute mp3 file.

Isabel is a founding member of Seiwa Taiko, a taiko group based in Madrid, Spain. In our discussion, we talk about her performance background, how she first encountered taiko, and the experience of starting a taiko group in Madrid.

New Interview: Ian Cleworth

We’re happy to announce the release of a new interview, the first in a series of international interviews!

Ben spoke with Ian Cleworth of TaikOz about his taiko performance background, how it connects to his background in Western percussion, what makes TaikOz different, and how the group creates repertoire and conceptualizes concert flow.

Visit the Interview page to check it out!

Ian Cleworth


Recorded July 12, 2015. 32.4, 70 minute mp3 file.

From the TaikOz website:

Ian has been Artistic Director of TaikOz since its inception in 1997. In 2005 he became full-time with the group after having spent 20 years as Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony and 16 years with the percussion group Synergy.

In this interview, we discuss Ian’s taiko performance background, how it connects to his background in Western percussion, what makes TaikOz different, and how the group creates repertoire and conceptualizes concert flow.

New Interview With Michelle Fujii Now Available!

Our next interview – with Unit Souzou co-director Michelle Fujii – is now available! In our discussion, we talked with MIchelle about her performance history, her approach to both performance and teaching, and the thoughts behind her group Unit Souzou.

Visit the interview page to listen to it or download the file so you can listen later!