TAIKOPROJECT was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, California by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers. They were seeking to create a truly American style of taiko, blending traditional forms in which they were raised, with an innovative and fresh approach to the Japanese drum.
TAIKOPROJECT first made waves when they became the first American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005, besting all of the Japanese taiko groups in the competition. That year, they were cast in the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial, the first and still only national advertising campaign to prominently feature taiko.
Since then, the group has performed on the 2009 Academy Awards, the 2011 Grammy Awards, NBC's "The Voice," Syfy's Face/Off, The X-Factor, and were honored with the prestigious Visionary Award from East West Players. In 2013, TAIKOPROJECT was featured in rock band 30 Seconds to Mars' epic "Up in the Air" music video and appeared with the band on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
TAIKOPROJECT has performed and recorded with some of the world's most well-known musical artists, including Stevie Wonder, Usher, Alicia Keys, A.R. Rahman, John Legend, Kanye West, producer Squeak E. Clean, Sean Paul, Diplo, as well as international stars such as Greek singer Antonis Remos, Persian singer Mansour, Brazilian drumming group Olodum, and Netherlands' Tiesto. In 2014, they were featured on Ovation TV's critically-acclaimed series "The Art Of" and in Reggie Watts' Halftime Show on The Late Late Show with James Corden. In 2016, TAIKOPROJECT collaborated with Grammy-winning Chicano rock band Quetzal to reopen the new Ford Theatres, trained with kabuki expert David Furumoto, and collaborated with KODO's Chieko Kojima. In 2017, they will tour across the nation multiple times and are currently appearing in commercials for Food Network's Iron Chef Gauntlet.
TAIKOPROJECT programs are made possible in part by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, the MAP Fund (Creative Capital), the Japan Foundation, the Sansei Legacy Fund, the Toyota Giving Circle, AAPIP (Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy), the Union Bank Foundation, as well as our annual BaseBeat donors.