All-Star Panel

We are truly honored to have these incredible Taiko artists and legends for this year’s Taiko Taikai judges!

Tiffany Tamaribuchi

Tiffany Tamaribuchi, an internationally recognized taiko master, has achieved a level of acclaim in trailblazing fashion. In the traditional taiko realm, of Japanese born and trained male performers, she creates a new powerful voice with her multicultural heritage, youth, and feminine perspective.

Ms. Tamaribuchi’s determination and perseverance, through long hours of grueling practice in her initial studies, transformed her sense of life’s possibilities, which she now does for others.

(Read more here!)

Kenny Endo

Kenny Endo is an American musician and taiko master. He is the leader of several taiko ensembles and regularly tours, performing traditional and contemporary taiko music. Endo is also the first non-Japanese national to receive a natori in the field of hogaku hayashi, Japanese classical drumming. Today Endo composes his own music and plays taiko professionally as a solo artist, with his ensembles, and in collaboration with other artists.

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Diana Wu

Diana Wu is the founder and director of Naruwan Taiko in San Diego, California. Before founding Naruwan in 2008, her taiko journey began in 2006 with UC Berkeley’s Raijin Taiko (then Cal Taiko). In 2017, Diana served as the Chair of the Host City for North American Taiko Conference in San Diego. She also spent some time on Sado Island as a selected participant of Roots of Kodo (a deep immersion apprenticeship-like program for people outside of Japan, spearheaded by Eri Uchida). In 2019, Diana joined the kaDON team, Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten’s American branch and in 2020, she was a featured artist at HERbeat, the first taiko concert production starring women taiko artists from North America and Japan.

(Read more here!)

Stuart Paton 

Stuart Paton, Founder and Artistic Director of Burlington Taiko, spent most of his childhood in Japan from age nine months through eighteen years. His earliest exposure to taiko included a subconscious learning foundation from weekends overhearing his neighbor’s own taiko practice, as well as a first-grade fascination with the drums at Obon celebrations in Tokyo. His formal study of taiko began in 1984 during a summer apprenticeship with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, founder of San Francisco Taiko Dojo – the first taiko group in North America. In 1986, not long after settling in Vermont, he founded the Burlington Taiko Group.

Stuart has established an artistic style for Burlington Taiko that combines movement, rhythm, voice, and the efficient and graceful movement of chi, or “energy,” from the player to the drum. His affection for the group dynamic of taiko is evident both when he performs at the most advanced level, and when he instructs the most novice players.


(Read more here!)

Stay tuned for more updates!