Jodaiko’s 2012-2013 ensemble.

IRVINE — Jodaiko will present its spring concert, entitled “Henka,” on Wednesday, April 3, at the Claire Trevor Theatre, UC Irvine School of the Arts, Mesa Road, Building 711. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Taiko has had a Japanese/Japanese American cultural presence in the U.S., especially California, since the late 1960s. Most taiko groups in the U.S. practice kumi-daiko or group drumming. Based on the main campus of UC Irvine, Jodaiko is committed to both respecting and continuing traditions of kumi-daiko with a spirit of passion and dedication, while at the same time embracing the innovation and musical exploration that comes with being a collegiate group in North America.

“‘Henka’ translates to ‘change,’ but in the context of how Jodaiko has changed over the years (from the very beginning, the present, and to what it will become in the future). ‘change’ is much too broad to accurately portray the many years that Jodaiko has experienced,” the group said in a statement. “To be more precise, ‘henka’ describes the natural transformations of Jodaiko. How we operate, how we perform, and what we perform are all factors that play into the definition of Jodaiko, a definition that is fluid and ever changing.

“Last year’s concert celebrated our 20 years of existence. This year, we hope to portray the future of Jodaiko by showcasing remixes of older songs and new songs. Remixed versions of past Jodaiko repertoire and concert songs reveal the differences in our playing style. New songs display the creative minds and forward shift of Jodaiko, as every year gives rise to new generations and new ideas.

“‘Henka’ serves to present the transformations that Jodaiko has undergone, as well as to depict how we are always exploring, transitioning, and growing.”

Originally called Tomo no Taiko the group made its debut at the UCI Rainbow Fest in the fall of 1992. Jodaiko, which means “passionate drumming,” was adopted as the group’s name the following year in remembrance of the spirit of the founding members, Peggy Kamon in particular.

The current board includes Justin Matsuura, executive director; Michelle Doi and Kento Kameyama, creative directors; Fiona Lee and Keith Uyeno, internal directors.

Jodaiko encourages members of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds to come experience the resounding beat of the drums from Japan.

Tickets are $10 for students, $15 general and $17 at the door. They can be purchased from Deadline to buy tickets online is Tuesday, March 26.

For those driving, Mesa Parking Structure, 4002 Mesa Rd., is the closest available place to park. Rates will range from $4 to $10.

For more information, email or go online to



Promo video on YouTube:


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