LegacyLabs: Symmetrical Soundscapes with Kenny Endo


Tradition as a Basis of Innovation

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Mountain View Buddhist Temple
575 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043

Followed by:

An Afternoon Conversation with


Presented as part of the TaikoVentures Pau Hana Series


9:30am to 12:00pm – Workshop
12:00 to 1:00pm – Bento Lunch for In-Person Participants
1:00 to 2:30pm – Pau Hana


$500: In-Person Full Participant
$100: In-Person Observer
$25: Virtual Observer (Zoom)

NOTE: Proceeds from this event will be used towards Tanaka Sensei’s travel and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.  

About this Workshop

In the mid 1970s, Tanaka Sensei played a record for me called Hogaku Hayashi, which sparked my curiosity for Japanese classical drumming. While living in Japan in the 1980’s, I was able to study this music with Saburo Mochizuki and Bokusei Mochizuki. Eventually, I received a natori, (stage name and license to teach) and performed this classical music under the name, Tajiro Mochizuki. Simultaneously, I studied Edo Bayashi under Kenjiro Maru of the Wakayama Shachu.

In this special workshop, I will talk about the influences, development, and various versions of Symmetrical Soundscapes. Inspired by traditional rhythms found in Daisho patterns from Kabuki Bayashi, rhythms from Shichome of Edo Bayashi, along with Brazilian Samba, and much improvisation, Symmetrical Soundscapes, was composed in 1985 and premiered at La Mama in Tokyo as a transition piece in O Edo Sukeroku Taiko’s concert. It was originally a duet for two shime daiko and later evolved to various configurations of taiko and numbers of performers.

The entire piece (along with notation and audio) will be introduced in workshop form for the first time. Please bring a pair of one of the following: taiko set bachi, katsugi bachi, or Edo Bayashi shime bachi.

About Kenny Endo

Kenny Endo, a California-born sansei, is a taiko artist, composer, and teacher. Kenny played with the first two North American taiko groups, Kinnara Taiko and San Francisco Taiko Dojo, where he trained with Tanaka-sensei. While living in Japan, Kenny studied and played with foundational Japanese taiko groups Osuwa Taiko of Okaya, Nagano Prefecture, and Oedo Sukeroku Taiko of Tokyo. He also studied classical Japanese drumming, becoming the first non-Japanese national to be honored with a natori, a professional stage name. Kenny’s artistry and depth of training in Japanese drumming has led to numerous commissions, residencies, awards, and performances across the globe. Kenny lives in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, home of the Taiko Center of the Pacific, the taiko school he co-founded with Chizuko Endo, and homebase for the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. He is sponsored by Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten, Japanese taiko drum maker to the Emperor of Japan, and was recently named a United States Artist Fellow.

About LegacyLabs

The TaikoVentures LegacyLabs project aims to provide unique opportunities for the taiko community to learn from the most celebrated pioneers of North American taiko.