Apr. 3: Kenny Endo: Breaking Through Tradition to Innovation Concert Celebrating 45 Years of Taiko at Joe’s Pub in New York

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. He is currently on a performance tour celebrating 45 years of Taiko with his Breaking Through Tradition to Innovation concert and will be at Joe’s Pub on Sunday, April 7 at 7pm. Joe’s Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street (at Astor Place), New York, NY 10003.

Kenny Endo. Photo by Lia Chang

Endo’s Contemporary Ensemble features 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.

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 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.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here. There is a 2 drink or $12 food minimum, per person, during every show at JOe’s Pub. Doors open at 6pm. For last-minute tickets, please visit our Box Office at 425 Lafayette Street. Web sales and phone sales end when doors open, and tickets are often released for in-person, walk-up sale right before the show begins.

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

Check out the details of where you can see the concert in a city near you in the link below.

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

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

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