(Photo by James Sheehan)

The power, precision and artistry of Japanese drumming will take center stage when Makoto Taiko presents its annual concert – “Legacy” – on Saturday, June 24, at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. 

“Legacy” will honor Makoto Taiko sensei Koji Nakamura and celebrate his 40 years of playing taiko as well as his many years of leadership with the Pasadena-based group. The concert will also recognize Makoto Taiko’s achievements over the years, particularly that of becoming one of the largest community taiko groups in Southern California.

Makoto Taiko’s ensemble will gather on stage with guest performers Grammy Award-nominated musician, composer, and producer Shoji Kameda; Grammy Award winner and koto artist Yukiko Matsuyama; Nihon buyo dancer Hidesomi Bando; and taiko artists and former Makoto Taiko members Blaine O’Brien and Aki Imai.

The evening’s program will include both traditional and modern compositions, including those written by Makoto Taiko’s own instructors, and several of the pieces will be presented in tribute to Nakamura-sensei. The concert is expected to attract a sold-out crowd.

Founded in 1999, Makoto Taiko today boasts more than 120 members, ranging in age from 7 to 82. Makoto Taiko is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic secular ensemble open to all interested individuals regardless of drumming experience. Classes for kids, youth, adults, and seniors are offered weekly and range from beginner to advanced levels.

Proceeds from “Legacy” will help Makoto Taiko to continue its concert tradition, expand its curriculum to welcome new students, purchase and maintain drums and instruments, and continue its tradition of community outreach via events, charitable activities, and performances throughout Southern California.

The performance starts at 7 p.m. and will run approximately 90 minutes, plus intermission. Tickets are $20, $30, and $45 and are available through the Aratani Theatre’s website: https://jaccc.org/events/ .

Sponsorship and program advertising opportunities are also available. Visit http://makototaiko.org for details.

The Aratani Theatre is located at 244 S. San Pedro St. (between 2nd and 3rd streets) adjacent to the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

For more information, email info@makototaiko.org.

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