2015 / Honolulu: Kenny Endo’s 40th anniversary taiko concert at Hawaii Theatre, Oct. 10

Hawaii Kenny Endo 40th Ann Concert


Taiko Center of the Pacific presents


Kenny Endo’s 40th year Anniversary Celebration Concert

Master Taiko Artist, Kenny Endo, celebrates 40 years of Taiko drumming

Hawaii Theatre / 1130 Bethel Street in downtown Honolulu

Saturday, October 10, 2015 / 7:00 pm


Kenny Endo & Friends

Hiromitsu Agatsuma, Tsugaru Shamisen wizard from Tokyo

Hitoshi Hamada, Vibraphone Artist from Tokyo

Kaoru Watanabe, Transverse Bamboo Flutist from New York

Jeff Peterson, Grammy award winning Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist

Rhythm Summit (Kenny Endo, Noel Okimoto, Dean Taba)

Todd Yukumoto, Saxophone, Flute

Yi Chieh Lai, GuZheng (Chinese Zither)

Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble

Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group

Tickets ($20-$60) on sale at Hawaii Theatre Box Office, 808- 528-0506; www.hawaiitheatre.com

Sponsored in part by Taiko Arts Center, Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts, Island Insurance Hawaii, Hyatt Regency


(HONOLULU) Master Taiko Artist, Kenny Endo, celebrates a milestone 40th year of taiko drumming this year with a Special Concert at the historic Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel Street in downtown Honolulu on Saturday, October 10 (TEN TEN), 2015 at 7:00 pm. 

“TEN TEN” features taiko master Kenny Endo with Tsugaru shamisen (percussive style of Japanese banjo-like lute from northern Japan) wizard Hiromitsu Agatsuma from Tokyo; vibraphone virtuoso Hitoshi Hamada from Tokyo; former principal bamboo flutist of the world famous Kodo, Kaoru Watanabe from New York; Grammy award winning Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist Jeff Peterson; Rhythm Summit (Noel Okimoto, Dean Taba, and Endo); saxophone & flute artist Todd Yukumoto; Chinese GuZheng artist Yi Chieh Lai, The Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, the Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group, and more.

Kenny Endo is the premier taiko solo artist in the United States. He has been at the vanguard of the taiko genre for 40 years, continuing to pave new paths for the ancient Japanese drum.

Instrumental in popularizing the taiko art form all across the country and especially in Hawaii, “Kenny Endo’s” name is synonymous with the word “taiko” in the greater musical world.

A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation.

“TEN TEN” refers to the sound of the rope lashed taiko drum. Twice struck in the middle of the drum, it makes the sound “ten ten.”  TEN TEN is also the date of the concert (October 10th).

Joining Endo on stage in the Honolulu concerts are two of Japan’s #1 artists in their own genre. At age 14, Hiromitsu Agatsuma was named Top Artist in the All-Japan Tsugaru Jamisen Competition.

He subsequently went on to earn top honors in the prestigious National Competitions. What sets Agatsuma apart from his contemporaries is his versatility to collaborate with all genre of artists. Agatsuma performs with Kabuki and Noh theatre artists, rock, jazz, and more. http://agatsuma.tv

Hitoshi Hamada is considered the #1 jazz vibraphonist in Japan. He meets his U.S. match in this concert with world class local jazz vibraphonist Noel Okimoto.

Grammy award winning Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist Jeff Peterson is also on the bill. Endo and Peterson recorded a Na Hoku Hanohano nominated album “Island Breeze” with shakuhachi artist Riley Lee. Together they have created a beautiful fusion of new music.  http://jeffpetersonguitar.com/site/

Kaoru Watanabe is the former principal bamboo flutist from the world renown KODO drummers of Sado Island. He is also the top-ranking transverse bamboo flutist in the U.S. Versed in traditional Japanese, Western classical, jazz, and fusion, Kaoru is incomparable to none.

Now based in New York, Kaoru has served several times as Artistic Director of Kodo’s world famous Earth Celebration Festival. He is principal instructor of the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center in Brooklyn, New York and has collaborated and performed with Endo countless times internationally and across the U.S. http://www.watanabekaoru.com

“Rhythm Summit” features Endo with virtuoso Noel Okimoto and innovative Dean Taba on bass. Joining Rhythm Summit will be Todd Yukumoto on saxophone and flutes. Commissioned by then Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman and the Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts in 2008 to create new music, the Rhythm Summit trio released a CD of all original music in 2010.





Talented and delightful GuZheng (Chinese zither) player Yi Chieh Lai will also perform. Originally from Taiwan, she now resides in Honolulu working towards her doctorate degree at the University of Hawaii. She and Endo just recorded several tunes for Yi Chieh Lai’s soon-to-be-released CD.  http://yichieh.com

The awe-inspiring Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble (KETE) is one of the top taiko groups in the nation, with or without Endo!  The ensemble has been entertaining Hawaii audiences for 25 years.

KETE will also collaborate with UH Department of Dance professor /choreographer Peggy Adams in Endo’s composition entitled ”Midnight Moon,” a piece for 12 dancers/drummers. “Midnight Moon” was a project in 2012 supported in part by the Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts. www.kennyendo.com

The spirited Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group will debut two new compositions composed by Kenny Endo and Masato Baba as part of the “Developing the Next Generation of Taiko Artists” project sponsored by Taiko Arts Center and supported in part by current Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts. The Youth Group ranges in age from 9-17 and have studied taiko for 3-10 years individually.

Tickets ($20-$60) are on sale at the Hawaii Theatre Box Office, 1130 Bethel Street, Honolulu (Tu-Sat 9 am-5 pm); (808) 528-0506; and on line at: www.hawaiitheatre.com

Taiko Arts Center, a 501c3 federally-approved non-profit organization is accepting donations for the celebration. Special packages include a concert ticket and an invitation to the VIP post-concert reception with the artists, and more.  Reception only tickets are $35.

For information, contact:  taikocelebration@gmail.com or call (808) 737-7236.

The Kenny Endo 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert is sure to be an evening of fabulous musical collaborations, vibrations, and music.

Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate with taiko master Kenny Endo and friends!

Following the 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert Tour kick-off in Honolulu, Endo continues onto a West Coast Tour and performances in Japan in Fall 2015.  The Celebration Tour continues in Spring 2016 to the East Coast, Mid-West, and South.

Kenny Endo 40th Anniversary Celebration Events above are supported in part by Taiko Arts Center, the Honolulu Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts, Island Insurance, and private donors.