March 25, 2023
Guest artist Eien Hunter-Ishikawa (Portland, Ore.) joins Ensō Daiko for a free Taiko Tuesday concert Oct. 17 at the North Garden Theater in St. Paul. (Photo by Rich Ryan)

MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 4, 2017) — TaikoArts Midwest brings the best local and national taiko talent together for the second free monthly concert in Taiko Tuesday series at 7 p.m., Oct. 17, 2017 at the new North Garden Theater, 929 7th St. W., St Paul, Minn.

TAIKO TUESDAY concerts promise loud, energetic performances that combine music, dance, culture, and pure athleticism. “So many people I meet have no idea what taiko drumming is, or that we have such a vibrant local taiko community. These concerts are free – an easy opportunity for people and families to give it a try. Plus, our guest artists are some of the best in the world– they are going to blow people away!” says Jennifer Weir, executive director of TaikoArts Midwest.

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician and educator based in Portland, Oregon specializing in drumset, taiko, percussion, and shinobue. Born in Japan, his passion for drumming started at an early age through the involvement of a youth taiko ensemble directed by Saburo Mochizuki, a founding member of Tokyo’s pioneering taiko ensemble Sukeroku Daiko. He earned his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble. Eien is a current member of contemporary taiko quartet On Ensemble, and continues to write new compositions for the group.

Ensō Daiko performs traditional and contemporary taiko repertoire, with an emphasis on original compositions. For over 20 years they have contributed to the expanding canon and innovation of North American taiko, and have taught thousands of students of all ages and abilities. Ensō Daiko was founded as Mu Daiko in 1997 by Rick Shiomi, then renamed Ensō Daiko in 2017 by current Artistic Director Jennifer Weir, when TaikoArts Midwest took over the taiko program formerly supported by Mu Performing Arts.

This concert series, presented by TaikoArts Midwest, is one of the winning projects to receive funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of the Knight Arts Challenge. In addition to the City of St. Paul Cultural STAR program and the Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation, this activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Ensō Daiko performs in a free Taiko Tuesday concert at the North Garden Theater in St. Paul Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Free general admission, reservations recommended. (Photo by Rich Ryan)

Upcoming Taiko Tuesday Concerts:

All concerts FREE general admission

Oct. 17., 7 p.m. at North Garden Theater

Nov. 21, 7 p.m. at Gremlin Theater, 550 Vandalia St., St Paul, Minn.

Dec. 5, 7 p.m. at Gremlin Theater, 550 Vandalia St., St Paul, Minn.

TaikoArts Midwest’s mission is to nurture artistic excellence and deepen and expand the impact of taiko in our community. Inspired by both tradition and innovation, they produce concerts, offer studio classes, lead school residencies, and perform for community and private events. They are the springboard for two resident taiko groups: Ensō Daiko and ensemble-MA. Recently founded as an independent spin-off from Mu Performing Arts, TaikoArts Midwest is Minnesota’s only organization fully dedicated to taiko arts.


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