Kenny Endo’s 45th Anniversary Celebration Performance Tour Dates Through May 22

Kenny Endo stands at the vanguard of the taiko genre as one of the leading personas in contemporary percussion and rhythm in North America and Japan. For 45 years, he has led the way in this Japanese style of drumming in the United States, and he is celebrating with his 2022 Breaking Through Tradition to Innovation tour this Spring.

Kenny Endo. Photo by Lia Chang

As a jazz percussionist and early innovator in Japanese taiko, Kenny Endo’s adventurous spirit stretches the taiko genre, incorporating funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Hawaiian influences, with roots firmly grounded in tradition. Endo tours with his Contemporary Ensemble, featuring prominent artists and long-time collaborators Kaoru Watanabe, Japanese bamboo flutes (nohkan, ryuteki, shinobue), Western flute, taiko; Abe Lagrimas, Jr., vibraphone, drumkit, and ‘ukulele; and Sumie Kaneko, koto and shamisen. The tour will also feature Sho’on Shibata (Mar 23-Apr 23), Chizuko Endo (Apr 25-May 14), taiko and percussion. Endo has received numerous awards and accolades, including special recognition in Japan as he was the first non-national to be honored with a natori, a stage name, in Japanese classical drumming. He was a featured artist on the 2005 PBS special Spirit of Taiko as well as on several film soundtracks including Apocalypse Now.

The ensemble also offers educational services including lecture/demonstrations, workshops, classes, and residencies.

The tour is supported through the Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) Program.

Check out the tour city and dates below.

Mar. 30: Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall at THE UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON IN FREDERICKSBURG, VA
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and one TBA.
Dodd Auditorium, 1301 College Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22041.
Demonstration: 1pm
Performance: 7:30 pm, doors open at 6:30pm.
Click here for more information.
The show is free and open to the public. Email cprd@mail.umw.edu for questions. Sponsored by the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies; The Khatib Program in Religion and Dialogue; The Department of Classics, Philosophy, & Religious Studies; The Department of Music.

Mar. 31: DICKINSON COLLEGE, CARLISLE, PA
7pm

Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.
Allison Hall Community Room, Dickinson College
28 N College St, Carlisle, PA 17013
Tickets: Free
Click here for more information.

Apr. 2: WASHINGTON, DC
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and one TBA.

NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL @ THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, WASHINGTON, D.C.
6pm
Millennium Stage North, The John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, 2700 F Street NW, Washington DC 20566
FREE! and Open to the Public. Click here to reserve tickets.
How to Get There

Apr.3: JOE’S PUB, NEW YORK
7pm

Kenny Endo (taiko), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals), and Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (ukulele, vibraphone, drumset) at Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place), New York, NY 10003
(212) 967-7555
Tickets

Apr. 7: UNIVERSITY OF MASS., AMHERST, MA
7:30pm

Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and one TBA.
Bowker Auditorium, 80 Campus Way, Amherst, MA 01003
Tickets: $25, $30, $35, (5) College students & Youth 17 & Under-$10
Co-presented by The Umass Fine Arts Center Asian and Asian American Arts and Culture Program, and Professor Franklin Odo of Amherst

Apr. 8-9: PHILADELPHIA, PA
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and one TBA.
Stay tuned for updates on time, tickets and venue.

Apr. 12-14: MARYVILLE and DUBLIN, OHIO
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.
Stay tuned for updates on time, tickets and venue.

Apr. 18: Oberlin College in OBERLIN, OH
Doors open at 7, showtime is at 7:30pm
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.
Finney Chapel, 90 N. Professor St., Oberlin, OH 44074
This concert is free admission and open to everyone in the College, Conservatory, and community.
Click here for more information.

Apr. 22: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, IL
7:30pm CT
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.
Tryon Festival Theatre, 500 South Goodwin Avenue in Urbana, IL.
Click here for tickets and more information.

Apr. 25: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in MINNEAPOLIS, MN
7:30pm
345 Washington Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Chizuko Endo. Joining him onstage will also be local favorites, Ensō Daiko. Click here for more information.
Presented by TaikoArts Midwest. Mode possible in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Apr. 30: MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS MUSEUM, PHOENIX, AZ
7pm
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.
4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 478-6000
$35, $45, $50
Click here for tickets and more information.

May 1, 2: GREEN VALLEY and TUCSON, AZ
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Sho’on Shibata.

May 1: CPAC Community Performance and Art Center
1250 W Continental Road, Green Valley, AZ 85622
7pm
520-399-1750
Click here for tickets.
May 2 – Tucson
Stay tuned – more information on venue, time, and tickets to come.

May 4-6: STANFORD UNIVERSITY, STANFORD, CA
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Chizuko Endo (taiko). Supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, Taiko Arts Center, and private donors.
May 7: Bing Auditorium, Stanford University
Stay tuned – more information on venue, time, and tickets to come.


May 13: Oxnard Performing Arts Center in OXNARD, CA
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and one TBA. Supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, Taiko Arts Center, and private donors.
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard, CA 93030


May 14: Aratani Theatre in LOS ANGELES, CA
Doors open at 6:30pm
Show at 7pm
Kenny Endo Ensemble featuring Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe (bamboo flutes, taiko), Abe Lagrimas Jr. (ukulele, drumset, vibraphones), Sumie Kaneko (koto, shamisen, vocals) and Chizuko Endo (taiko). Supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, Taiko Arts Center, and private donors.
244 S San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-3700 (formerly known as The Japan America Theatre)
Dinner times: JACCC Resident Chef Chris Ono will prepare a wonderful array of the most popular and unique Hawaiian comfort foods. Enjoy what is known as Hawaiian regional cooking in typical mixed plate fashion, with Chef Chris’ ‘Ono-licious’ touches. Experience the savory fused flavors of the Pacific and the many cultures that make up Hawaii’s tasty dishes. First dinner seating starts at 5:00pm, before the concert; the second “after-concert” dinner seating starts at 9:00pm.
Click here for tickets and more information.

May 22: The Reser Center for the Performing Arts in BEAVERTON, OR
7 pm
Patricia Reser Performing Arts Center
12625 SW Crescent Street, Beaverton, OR 97005
Tickets: $25-$35 Click here for tickets and more information.

Kenny Endo Official Website

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, a performing arts photographer and an award-winning filmmaker. A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She Executive Produced and stars in the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, was featured as Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago and has worked extensively Off-Broadway. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s