On Sunday October 16th Pasadena hosted The Taiko Center of Los Angeles (TCLA) for their Cultural Dance Festival. Founded by Reverend Shuichi Thomas Kurai in 1996, TCLA’s two ensembles perform throughout Southern California and also in Japan.
“Taiko”, which means drum in Japanese, percussionists are generally seen with smaller “Chu Daiko” or very large “O Daiko”. These oak drums are played with oak sticks called “Bachi”.
Two notable performers at the Pasadena Cultural Dance Day were Fredo Ortiz and Maceo Hernandez of East LA Taiko. Fredo Ortiz has played with Ozomatli, Beastie Boys, Yeska and Los Villains. In the following videos, he is seen playing the West African Djembe. Maceo Hernandez has been teaching and performing taiko for 20 years. He composed the song in the following video (seen on the left).