Kokyo Taiko (Japanese drum troupe)


If you are interested in attending our practices, please email kokyotaiko@buddhisttemplechicago.org

Our guest appearance at Elmhurst College’s 9th Annual World Music Festival has been postponed until further notice.

Visit the Kokyo Taiko Facebook page here for upcoming performances and events.

Kokyō Taiko Chicago is currently headed by founding member, Linda Tademoto, and senior member, Miriam Solon. The adult group meets on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. New members are welcome, but only when we are not preparing for performances. During performance season we are too busy rehearsing to accommodate new learners, but we welcome you to observe a practice, by appointment only, and start training when the season ends. Interested parties with previous wadaiko (和太鼓) experience and no current local wadaiko affiliation will be considered for inclusion on a case-by-case basis. Contact Linda and Miriam at kokyotaiko@buddhisttemplechicago.org for more information. There is also a children’s taiko class, for ages six and up, that meets on Sunday mornings. Contact Miriam for more information.

Kokyō Taiko Chicago was formed at BTC in September, 1987. The name Kokyō (湖響) means “Echo of the Lake,” in reference to our proximity to Lake Michigan. Our first teacher was Roxane Tono, who studied wadaiko with, and is an honorary member of, Okaya Taiko in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, one of the pioneering proponents of the kumitaiko (組太鼓–ensemble drumming) performance style that emerged in post-WWII Japan. Her basic philosophy regarding taiko was “Do the best you can, reach beyond what you think you can do and, most importantly, have fun while doing it.”

Our eclectic style has evolved over 30+ years, through contact with guest instructors from Japan and established American and Canadian wadaiko artists, as well as members’ experience studying in Japan with Kodō on Sado Island, and other wadaiko artists in multiple regions of the country.

Kokyō Taiko Chicago performs in metropolitan Chicago and the Great Lakes region. We have been honored to perform at Japanese Cultural Day at Detroit Tiger Stadium; Asian Moon Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; MAJC Japan Festival, Chicago Botanic Garden’s Malott Japanese Garden Summer Festival; and various international day celebrations and numerous private events. We also give workshops, usually at BTC, but occasionally on-site.

Last updated March 13, 2020