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Taiko is growing rapidly in the U.S. Even here in Arizona, opportunities now abound to watch and participate in this compelling and physically engaging art form. Below is a list of Arizona taiko resources.

Taiko in Tucson

MoGan Daiko — No longer active, but honored as the parent group of both Odaiko Sonora and Suzuyuki-Kai Taikoza. Founder and sensei Stanley Morgan has been a practitioner of taiko since the 1960s and helped to found several taiko groups in the Los Angeles and Seattle areas. His early innovations in constructing taiko out of wine barrels revolutionized building of North American taiko. Upon settling in Tucson in the mid-90s, Mr. Morgan re-started his own group, MoGan Daiko. He shared his master drum-building skills with members of Fushicho Daiko and Odaiko Sonora, and passed on his love of taiko to people of all ages. In 2002, illness forced him to scale back his activities, and his existing students founded Odaiko Sonora and helped establish Suzuyuki-Kai Odori School’s taiko-za. Today, Mr. Morgan’s teachings and spirit continue on through the work of nearly all the Arizona taiko groups.

Odaiko Sonora: Southern AZ's Taiko-za! — Founded in May 2002 by Karen Falkenstrom and Rome Hamner, Odaiko Sonora is dedicated to bringing firsthand knowledge of taiko and the opportunities it presents for physical, mental, and spiritual growth to the communities of Southern Arizona. The group offers ongoing taiko instruction, school residencies, and community/corporate workshops that focus on team-building, history & culture, drum construction, and more. Through national and international taiko networks, Odaiko Sonora is able to bring to our region such taiko masters as Yoshikazu Fujjimoto of KODO, PJ and Roy Hirabayashi of San Jose Taiko, Tiffany Tamaribuchi of Sacramento Taiko Dan, and the award-winning Japanese group, Shidara. Odaiko Sonora is listed in the Arizona Commission on the Arts Teaching Artist Roster and produces an annual showcase concert highlighting Arizona taiko groups. Call (520) 327-1228 or email info@tucsontaiko.org

Suzuyuki-Kai Mogan Daiko — Founded by Mari Kaneta in 1984, Suzyuyuki-Kai is a classical Japanese dance (odori) ensemble of the highest caliber—the only such ensemble in Southern Arizona. Several members played with MoGan Daiko at various times. They have formed a taiko-za, or ensemble, within the dance company, combining odori with taiko drums in performance. In 2007, Suzuyuki-Kai Taikoza officially changed it's name to reflect its mission of carrying on Stan Morgan's legacy. Contact: suzuyuki@aol.com

Tucson Taiko Kyokai This taiko cooperative dedicated to sharing the spirit of taiko was founded in 2006 by former students of Odaiko Sonora. Classes are are held at the Lighthouse/City YMCA, Mo-Sun Art and Wellness Center, and Star Valley in southwest Tucson. More Information on the YMCA and Star Valley classes can be obtained at info@tucsontaikokai.com and information on the Mo-Sun Art and Wellness Center can be obtained at info@mo-sun.com

Taiko in Phoenix

Fushicho Daiko — Founded in 1992 by Esther Vandecar soon after her return from several years living and playing taiko in Japan, Fushicho Daiko performs over 50 times each year and has become a feature at Japanese-themed events throughout the Phoenix valley.The group's current members have over 60 years of performance experience between them and most appear on the Arizona Commission on the Arts Teaching Artist Roster. The group regularly conducts school residencies and workshops, along with leading taiko classes for youth and adults. Contact Esther at esther@taikoaz.com. See their website www.taikoaz.com

Kyo Rei Taiko Kai — A program of the Japanese-American Citizens League of Phoenix, Kyo Rei is the oldest group in Arizona. Contact Ted Namba (623) 572-9913 or email caseyfolks@aol.com.
 

 

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