For nearly 40 years, Kenny Endo has been at the vanguard of the taiko world, continuing to carve new territory in this Japanese style of drumming. He was the first non-Japanese national to be honored with a “natori,” a professional stage name, in Hogaku Hayashi (Japanese classical drumming). Kenny is a consummate artist, blending taiko and rhythms from around the world with original melodies.
Endo has recorded nine CDs and was a featured artist on the PBS special “Spirit of Taiko.” He is featured on the soundtracks for Kayo Hatta’s “Picture Bride” and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and worked in a motion capture suit for James Cameron’s Oscar-winning film “Avatar”. Endo has had a day named on his behalf by the Mayor of Honolulu and was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts for American Masterpieces. He has collaborated with artists from around the globe traveling across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, the former Soviet Union, Australia, and the Americas in his effort to share taiko with the world. Born in Los Angeles, he received his BA at UCLA and MA at the University of Hawaii. He serves as Artistic Director of the Taiko Center of the Pacific. Kenny proudly performs on taiko from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten.