More rocking taiko from HYBRID SOUL
Isaku Kageyama (taiko)
Chris Young (guitar)
Patrick Glynn (bass)

April 30, 2009 20:00 at Shinjuku LIVE Takanoya Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
May 15, 2009 20:00 Ekoda BUDDY Ekoda, Tokyo
May 29, 2009 20:00 Roppongi EDGE Minato-ku, Tokyo

And try rocking yourself at Isaku’s TAIKO WORKSHOPS:

WHEN: 2/13, 2/17, 3/24, 3/31
WHERE: Igusa Kumin Center B1 Music Room
5-7-22 Shimo Igusa Suginami-ku Tokyo 167-0022
Google Map
HOW MUCH: 4000 yen (2000 yen with student ID)

Video above: “Yagi Bush,” a Japanese folk tune, at Mandala in Tokyo Nov. 11, 2008.

African and Japanese Percussion

ISAKU KAGEYAMA, award-winning taiko drummer, and WINCHESTER NII TETE, acclaimed African percussionist, meet for a conversation using the universal language of music. The duo’s music, deeply rooted in the traditions of Japan and Ghana, flows like a conversation between two close friends, with jokes, laughter, questions, and their answers scattered throughout the evening.

Taiko and African Percussion Performance
Isaku Kageyama (taiko), Winchester Nii Tete (African Percussion),
Daisuke Watanabe (taiko), Chris Holland (taiko)
FRI Jan. 9, 2009 20:00 (Doors open 19:00)
Shinjuku Live Takanoya
5-2-3 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo 160-0022
3,600 yen (includes one drink) 
All seats are non-reserved
For Tickets and More Information: Shinjuku Live Takanoya
TEL: 03-5919-0228
Sponsored by The Embassy of Ghana

Isaku Kageyama is one of the bright young stars of premiere drum ensemble Amanojaku. Introduced to the traditional Japanese art form at the age of 6, Isaku is an expert at playing the Odaiko (large drum), and is a two-time National Odaiko Champion.

Master percussionist Winchester Nii Tete hails from the honorable Addy-Amo-Boye families of drummers in Ghana. A complete and versatile musician, Winchester has performed with the Ghana national troupe, Sachi Hayasaka, Yoshio Harada, Takasitar, Naoki Kubojima, Tsuyoshi Furuhashi and many other artists.

Taiko Rocks With Hybrid Soul _ Live Version

Hybrid Soul delivers electric “Souran Bushi” _ Dokkoi dokkoi!!
Hybrid Soul brings together:
ISAKU KAGEYAMA, an award-winning traditional Japanese taiko drummer from Tokyo, Texan guitarist CHRIS YOUNG and
PAT GLYNN, an accomplished Broadway musician hailing from the wilds of New Jersey.
Three different perspectives but one common vision.
By experimenting with Western rock, jazz, blues and latin elements, Hybrid Soul breathes new life into the culturally and musically rich tradition of Japanese folk songs.

Electric Bon Odori

Isaku is also doing this concert at Aoyama Mandala TUE Nov. 11, 2008,
with Chris Young on guitar, and Pat Glynn on bass.
Isaku is promising “a psychedelic roller-coaster ride.”
Unlike a lot of taiko, the Amanojaku sound is Tokyo _ very “iki,” funky and urban.
And so in essence it should fit rock and roll to paint a cosmopolitan cityscape of electric taiko.
20:00 (Doors open at 19:00)
3,000 yen admission.
For more information, call 090-8506-9885, or send e-mail:

Amanojaku Taiko Concert


Amanojaku Taiko Concert – Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Brazil
Amanojaku with Kyosuke Suzuki (yokobue flute), Katsunari Sawada (shamisen)
August 13, 2008 Wednesday at 19:00 (Doors open at 18:30)
August 14, 2008 Thursday at 14:00 (Doors open at 13:30)
Nerima Bunka Center TEL: 03-3993-3311
Ticket Prices: Advance Tickets: JPY 4000 
Door Tickets: JPY 4500
All seats are non-reserved
Ticket Pia –  P-Code: 293-971
TEL: 0570-02-9999
Contact: Amanojaku -
TEL: 03-3904-1745 FAX: 03-3904-9434

Amanojaku led by Yoichi Watanabe has just returned from Brazil where they led 1,000 Japanese Brazilian drummers in a performance at a samba venue in Sao Paulo, the Brazilian city with the biggest population of people of Japanese ancestry.
Watanabe has gone to Brazil six times in the last several years to lead workshops in taiko drumming in Japanese communities throughout that nation. This year marks the centenary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, where pioneers went with big dreams after they were blocked entry by segration in the U.S. Taiko has long been a major part of the Japanese American community. Taiko is growing into a major part of the Japanese Brazilian community. Taiko is that pulse that unites people everywhere and helps make that vital connection to our cultural roots.

Amanojaku in a Yamagata Taiko Festival

Amanojaku appears in a Yamagata Prefecture taiko festival being billed as a once-in-a-decade star-studded event.

OHAMA, Yamagata Prefecture
July 27, 2008 at 18:00 (Doors open 17:00)
AMANOJAKU with Osuwa Daiko, Oedo Sukeroko Taiko, Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, Choshi Hanedaiko and others.
Kan Nihon-kai Taiko Festival
Ohama Seashore Stage
Advance Tickets JPY 2000, Door Tickets 2500
Contact: Kan Nihon-kai Taiko Festival Organization Office TEL 0234-26-0381

More Amanojaku in Brazil

Video footage of a recent Amanojaku concert in Brazil.
“Kaiun” by Yoichi Watanabe.
Players from left to right:
Mayumi Kawana, Isaku Kageyama, Hiromi Ogawa, Yoichi Watanabe.
Yoichi Watanabe, master taiko drummer and the leader of Tokyo taiko group Amanojaku, wrote “Kaiun” after he lost both his father and mother within a scope of about a year.
Like many Japanese, Watanabe has a tight family (both his sons are fantastic taiko drummers), and he was very close to his parents.
The sorrow was a crushing burden that was visible to anyone who saw him those days.
His own health suffered, and he was hospitalized.
But like all great artists, he found in his ordeal a vital force for this composition that is not only about the kind of person his parents always taught him to be _ humbly enduring but always with integrity and vision _ but also about the message of hope and prayer for everyone.
“Kaiun” means “good fortune” in Japanese.
People use the phrase when they wish good luck to others in the same way people in the West say, “God bless you.”
“Kaiun” is a powerful spiritual statement of art’s transcendence over death and a man’s sense of mission to pass on a musical legacy to future generations.
It is a universal statement about how we can never defeat death but how art can give us eternity.

If you want to see “Kaiun” with a better camera angle, please order the Amanojaku DVD from the online store:

It has all the greatest Amanojaku tunes, including “Bujin” (seen in the YouTube upload below), “Dotoh,” “Kagura” and others.
A must buy for all taiko fans and students.

Amanojaku in Brazil

Video footage from the recent Amanojaku concert in Brazil.
“Bujin” by Yoichi Watanabe.
Solo by Hiromi Ogawa.
Like many Watanabe pieces, “Bujin” has a solo section that allows individual players to express their own version of Amanojaku taiko.
Hiromi Ogawa’s is a classic.
It never fails to build excitement and tension as the perfect third solo for “Bujin.”

Photos by Kabe Chushin 12

From left to right
Winchester Nii Tete, Haruna Shimizu, Carl Freire, Teruyuki Kawabata, Yumi Miyagishima playing Kawabata’s “Jounetsu wo Torimodosou.”

Photos by Kabe Chushin 11

Haruna Shimizu of CigaretteSheWas singing “Jounetsu wo Torimodosou.”