Category Archives: News

Carnegie Mellon Matsuri performance – April 10

Pittsburgh Taiko will join CMU’s Japanese Student Association in their annual Matsuri event on Tuesday, April 10.

Pittsburgh Taiko is performing at 7 pm, but come early to enjoy Japanese food, games, and a full program of performers. The event runs 3:30-8:00 pm in Wiegand Gymnasium in the Cohon University Center at CMU.

Matsuri is a fundraiser for Minato school, which was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

More details here:

Beginner Class Starts 3/31!

taiko drums in dance studioLearn taiko with us at our next beginner session!

Our next four-week class starts Saturday, March 31 at Winchester Thurston school in Shadyside.

This class is for anyone who wants to learn a new musical skill, needs a unique workout, or just wants to find out what it’s like to hit those big drums! It’s designed for adults and older teens (high school and up), and no previous musical experience is needed.

Register at the link on our workshops page. The page also has more information about what to wear and bring, and what to expect.

Beginner Workshops

taiko lesson at Open Streets
Pittsburgh Taiko members teaching an informal class at Open Streets in 2017

Join us in DC for the Sakura Taiko Takeover!

cherry blossom image

On Sunday March 25, Pittsburgh Taiko travels to Washington, DC to join our taiko friends from across the mid-Atlantic in a six-hour taiko festival!

Part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Sakura Taiko Takeover is being organized by Miyako Taiko and Mark H. Rooney.

Meet us on stage at the Tidal Basin. We will perform between 4 and 5 p.m., but you shouldn’t miss any of the fun. We’re looking forward to seeing great performances from The Genki Spark, Kizuna, Triangle Taiko, Odaiko New England, Kyo Daiko, Nen Daiko, and others!

More info:

Learn Taiko in July!

We will be hosting a four-week beginner class July 1-22!

Get a taste for taiko and learn the basics in four Saturday afternoon sessions at Winchester Thurston School.

Dates and times:

  • Saturday, July 1, 2017, 1:30-3:00 pm
  •  Saturday, July 8, 1:30 -3:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 15 1:30-3:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 22, 4:30-6:00 pm 

The course is open to adults and high school students. Register at the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania website (

Read our beginner workshops page for more details!

Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble Concert – March 24

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania is proud to present the Kenny Endo Ensemble Taiko concert at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on Thursday, March 24th at 7PM. He is returning to Pittsburgh as a part of his 40th Anniversary Celebration tour and will be performing as an emsemble with Abe Lagrimas Jr (vibes, ukulele, drumset) and Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals).

Kenny Endo is a world famous taiko drum artist who has the honor of being the first non-Japanese national to receive the title of Natori (stage name and master’s degree) of Hogaku hayashi – traditional drumming. He has performed for Michael Jackson, Princess Di, opened for The Who, and was recorded in motion-capture suit for James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

Ticket prices are as follows:
$30 for the public
$25 for students and seniors
$20 for JASP members
To purchase tickets, please visit

The concert in Pittsburgh is sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation.

Lunar New Year Kick-Off Celebration February 6

Happy New Year everyone!

We’ll be participating in the Lunar New Year Kick-Off Celebration on Saturday, February 6 at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh. The event runs 1-5 PM, and we’ll be performing at 4:30.

For more information about the event, as well as other Year of the Red Fire Monkey festivities taking place in Squirrel Hill, check out Uncover Squirrel Hill’s event page! We hope to see you there!

On Ensemble Comes to Pittsburgh January 14, 2016!

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Taiko are proud to present On Ensemble in concert at the Hill House in the Elsie H. Hillman Auditorium, January 14, 2016, at 7:00PM.

On Ensemble is at the forefront of the growing taiko (Japanese ensemble drumming) community in the United States. Led by childhood friends Shoji Kameda and Masato Baba, On Ensemble has made a name for itself by combining the powerful rhythms and singing of traditional taiko with vibrant jazzy melodies.

The group has achieved recognition worldwide, from being the first American group to have been invited to perform at the prestigious Nihon no Taiko concert series in Japan in 2013, to their three critically acclaimed albums. Their fearless musical explorations have taken the ancient instruments of taiko into new realms and have established a distinctly modern expression for the art form.

The concert will be from 7:00-9:00PM, with doors opening at 6:30PM. Tickets are $20 for JASP members, $25 for non-members, and $10 for children and students with valid I.D. Tickets are available online at, and will be sold at the door.