What is TAIKO?

Taiko drums have been used for centuries in traditional Japanese music, as well as for religious ceremonies and to signal villagers for special occasions. Recently musicians around the world have been exploring a new type of music using large numbers of drums to create thundering, powerful rhythms, with a playing style influenced by dance and martial arts. 


The name KOBUSHI is written with three characters meaning  ko: drum,  bu: dance, and  shi: warrior. However, the characters  kobu together form a word that means inspiration or encouragement. (This is the inspiration for the phrase “Samurai Cheerleaders,” which has become the title of our first CD.)  Written with other characters, kobushi can have several other meanings relating to music and martial arts, and is also the name of a type of flowering tree. So this name is colorful and multi-faceted, as is our group and its music. 

The KOBUSHI taiko group is an eclectic mix of people that has included professional musicians, artists, writers, engineers, students, and a pilot. Our repertoire consists of traditional Japanese pieces as well as more modern original works. 

Since 1994, KOBUSHI has performed more than 350 times around Texas. We have performed for public and private audiences, ranging from a handful to thousands in size, indoors and out. We have played at "plum" locations such as the Meyerson Symphony Hall and the Dallas Museum of Art, as well as neighborhood schools and recreation centers. We have been selected to perform for the City of Dallas under the Neighborhood Touring Program.  

Some comments from our hosts:

Their appeal was enormous ... the response of the students was enthusiastic ... The faculty has also expressed their overwhelming approval. 
-- Paula Jacobs, Cultural Arts coordinator, Greenhill School

Your act is such a crowd pleaser. We always have calls to find out when you will be playing. 
-- Van Cox, chairman, Ft. Worth Japanese Garden Spring Festival 1995

KOBUSHI works magic. 
-- Melanie Ferguson, concert promoter

Wow! Bravo! ... your performance was absolutely astounding.
-- Pamela Gallagher, chairman, Ft. Worth Japanese Garden Spring Festival 1998

Other Web sites that may interest you

Rolling Thunder taiko drumming :  a great taiko site, featuring a directory of groups, dealers, and drum makers all over the world.

KODO, master taiko drummers 

drums.org:  community drumming in Dallas and elsewhere 

Arthur Hull's village drumming and "rhythm church" 


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