We surveyed last year’s attendees and received some great feedback! Across the board, people wanted the retreat to be longer. We’ve added an extra day which will allow us to space activities out and spend more time connecting with each other. Artistically, we are so excited to introduce Kaoly Asano, a taiko artist who has developed a style that is incredibly unique and tremendously fitting with the natural surrounding of the retreat.

Retreat Schedule PDF

Baseline price is USD $595 per participant which includes the following:

  • Artistic leadership from Kaoly Asano & Shoji Kameda
  • Lodging in a 4-person room (upgrades available during registration!)
  • 9 full meals prepared onsite (Thursday dinner to Sunday lunch)
  • 340 autumnal acres of Wisconsin’s backcountry

Additional Options (you’ll see these when you step through registration!):

  • +$25 to upgrade from a 4-person room to a 2-person room
  • +$50 to upgrade from a 4-person room to a 1-person room (space limited)
  • +$35 roundtrip shuttle transportation to/from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE Int’l Airport)
  • +$50 roundtrip shuttle transportation to/from Chicago, Illinois (ORD Int’l Airport)

Our retreats are focused on building strong personal connections through shared taiko experiences. From the event’s location to the workshop leaders to the actual schedule of activities, we are intentional about every detail.

An amazing introduction to Kaoly’s unique and influential style. We’ve been itching to introduce Kaoly to the North American Taiko Community and this year’s retreat gave us a perfect opportunity. She is a groundbreaking taiko artist. As the lead drummer of the Tokyo tribal groove orchestra GOCOO she has pioneered a free-spirited approach to taiko that blends East and West, tradition and innovation, and appeals directly to the heart of a broad range of audiences. Kaoly has been at the forefront of expanding the audience for taiko music with performances at some of the biggest music festivals in the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival, the SZIGET Festival (Europe’s biggest music event) and the renowned WOMAD Festival.

Kaoly founded the TAWOO Taiko Dojo and is one of the taiko world’s most influential teachers. She has developed a unique way to use one’s entire body and breath in an elegant and fluid way. Her music and performance taps into a feeling of freedom and into a fundamental aspect of what draws us together as humans. In addition to teaching at her dojo she has taught her compositions throughout Japan and the world including: Germany, Sweden, Spain, Brasil, India, China, and the Philippines. Recently she was one of 4 instructors invited to the 3rd European Taiko Conference which brings together taiko leaders from across Europe.

Participants will learn Kaoly’s song ELEVEN which was composed as a reaction to the devastating earthquake that rocked Japan on March 11, 2011. ELEVEN was originally created to symbolize a fateful day in Fukushima. Since its creation, however, ELEVEN has grown to symbolize something much greater than commemoration. The piece represents taiko’s ability to connect us to people around the world who, despite surviving hardships, continue to champion hope and embody a life of joy and celebration.

Read Kaoly’s Message (PDF)

Read more about Kaoly in this interview.

Each participant will take the exact same workshops.

Officially Begins: Thursday, October 17th at 5pm (get there anytime after 3pm!)

Officially Ends: Sunday, October 20th at 12pm

Yes, all participants must be 18 or older

Sure, lodging first. Our awesome retreat center is outfitted with centrally-heated 4-person rooms, 2-person rooms and a handful of single apartments all within walking distance from the dining hall and the artistic venues. The 4-person room is included in the cost of registration. If available when you register, you can also choose to upgrade your lodging situation by choosing the 2-person room option (+$25) or the 1-person room option (+$50, limited availability).

As for food, the retreat center will staff the kitchen and we’ll be working diligently on meal planning in the coming months. The center has a great menu, so look forward to re-energizing heartily between sessions. The 9 meals listed below are included in the cost of registration. You have an option to bring your own food or snacks to supplement the included meal plan, however, because the retreat center observes kashrut (Jewish religious dietary laws), outside food is not allowed into the kitchen or dining hall.

  • Thursday: Dinner
  • Friday: Breakfast // Lunch // Dinner
  • Saturday: Breakfast // Lunch // Dinner
  • Sunday: Breakfast // Lunch (to go)

The actual address for the retreat center is 1802 Co Rd J, Mukwonago, WI 53149 and the official name is Perlman Retreat Center. We will have shuttle options from Chicago and Milwaukee following the below schedule that you may elect during registration for an additional fee.

  • Chicago shuttle departs from O’Hare (ORD) Int’l Airport at 2pm CDT on Thursday 10/17/2019.
  • Milwaukee shuttle departs from Milwaukee (MKE) Int’l Airport at 3pm CDT on Thursday 10/17/2019.

It was important for us to hold this retreat in the Midwest since the bulk of the North American taiko conferences, retreats and workshops are held on the coasts. Secondly, we wanted to surround ourselves with the beauty and serenity of nature as a way to bring focus, intention and inspiration to the retreat’s activities. Lake Beulah in Mukwonago is nestled on 340 beautiful wooded acres with some of Wisconsin’s best preserved kettles and moraines – the perfect spot for a taiko getaway!

Yes! We will have a marketplace at the retreat and in late August will begin taking pre-orders that can be picked up at the retreat. Shipping charges are waived for all pre-orders, it is a great opportunity to coordinate purchases for other members of your ensemble who do not plan to attend the retreat . We’ll send a note to registrants when the pre-order window opens. You can browse the kaDON store (www.kadon.com/store) or request items from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten’s entire catalog by emailing info@kadon.com.