Interview with Kenny Endo, Honolulu, Hawaii

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Kenny Endo
Kenny Endo (Honolulu, Hawaii) 

Kenny Endo is a vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms from around the world into original melodies and improvisation. Originally trained as a jazz musician in the Asian American cultural renaissance of 1970s California, in 1980, Endo embarked on a decade-long odyssey in his ancestral Japan, studying and performing with the masters of classical drumming, traditional Tokyo festival music, and ensemble drumming. In the greater musical world, “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with “taiko.” He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the classical Japanese style and his own neo-traditional, globally-inspired variety. Endo has performed to critical acclaim with numerous musicians, comfortable collaborating with artists of all genres. He continues to tread new ground for this ancient instrument, inspiring all with his creativity, technique, and infectious groove; has recorded numerous CDs of original taiko compositions; and has traveled across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, the former Soviet Union, Australia, and the Americas in his effort to share taiko with the world.

Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/22/2020.
Raquel Paraíso
Music; United States; Covid-19 Pandemic
Honolulu, Hawaii
Musicians in America during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Society for Ethnomusicology

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