Makoto Taiko, originally Shumei America Taiko Group, was born in 1999 under the leadership of Steven Tokunaga in Pasadena, CA. Steven had undergone intensive taiko training with the renowned Shumei Taiko Ensemble in Japan before founding Makoto Taiko almost a decade later.

Makoto Taiko continues to expand in number with members from all over the Los Angeles area and performs at an ever-expanding list of events and venues throughout the U.S. including the Prayer Vigil for the Earth in Washington D.C., the Catskill Mountain Cultural Festival in New York, the Cathedral of the Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles, Shamballah LA at Level 3 in Hollywood, the United States Martial Arts Festival at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo and more.

In 2009, Makoto Taiko celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a wonderful concert in August at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse featuring collaborations with a number of accomplished guest artists including Grammy(R) Award-winner Paul Winter, Tibetan singer Yanjin Lamu, and Grand Taiko Master Seiichi Tanaka.

Makoto Taiko is based in Pasadena, CA near Los Angeles and performs under the instruction of Koji Nakamura, former leader of the Shumei Taiko Ensemble and a 2007 Grammy Award-winner as a participating artist in Paul Winter’s collaborative CD album, “Crestone.” [x]

Makoto Taiko: Miyake @ 10th Anniversary Concert

Miyake Daiko is an energetic style of Taiko characterized by a driving beat with the drums positioned horizontally and set on very low stands. This style of drumming originated on Miyake Island, which is located out in the Pacific Ocean, south of Tokyo, with an active volcano situated in the middle of it. The piece is unique in the way the drummers must position themselves to play the drums. It is a beautiful playing style to watch, in which the drums are completely free to resonate.

Performed at Makoto Taiko’s 10th Anniversary Concert at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse on August 22, 2009.

viewer comment:

Sound lags in the beginning, but starts to sync up after 2 minutes.

Suzee Ikeda was the first Asian-American solo artist at Motown. She worked at Motown as Michael Jackson’s “creative confidante,” also contributing as an executive producer and producer for artists such as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Commodores and Lionel Richie.

(Source: ooweeoo)


"I did not lose my passion for the entertainment industry, so, for my fans, there’s a lot of great things in the works…

So hang in there.”

Group hug, everyone.

Also, when Jessica paused and noticed that  the fans were singing ‘At Least I Still Have You’, I legit cried T___T Her Chinese fans are the best <3

*This is a roughly edited outtake from the upcoming DVD*


"Live At The Smell" is a DVD to be released by ColdHandsVideo that captures 10 of the most vital bands to perform at the Smell, downtown LA’s essential all-ages venue. With over 2 hours of live performance footage, this is an essential video document for the alternative / indie / noise-rock fan.

From the hyper-active intro by The Mae Shi, through the heavy moods of Gowns, the precise thrash of HEALTH, to the dark techno distopia of Captain Ahab, Live at the Smell presents a showcase of the excellent music that the community-oriented venue presents on any given day of the week, without booking agents, backroom deals, bouncers, velvet ropes, ID checks, schmoozing, or hype. All footage was shot from Sept-Oct 2008. (featuring: The Mae Shi, Foot Village, Ponytail, Abe Vigoda, High Places, Gowns, Barr, No Age, Health, Captain Ahab.)

Thanks to howhorrormovieshouldsound for suggesting this video.