Tsukasa Taiko, one of the leading taiko (Japanese drumming) ensembles in the Midwestern United States, has as its mission to preserve and to protect, and most importantly, to pass on the traditional concepts of taiko as a cultural legacy through direct lineage.
While utilizing these concepts to expand and evolve the taiko form in collaborative efforts with prominent music artists, Tsukasa Taiko remains aesthetically the most traditional taiko group in the Midwest. The long-established art form from Japanese culture is artistically woven into the group’s contemporary performances for an enriched representation of taiko today.
Students wanting to study taiko have the opportunity to not only learn the authentic style of drumming but also to experience their training sessions as a discipline in the art rather than a simple class setting in a school. This is in keeping with the high standard of training methods in traditional Japanese arts. Our full-time and part-time instructors are all qualified and experienced taiko performers. Students of all ages and skill levels, including children from age five, are welcome and can look forward to being able to perform at various venues throughout the area. Performances by our community-based taiko ensembles are enhanced by professional artists lending their talent and expertise.
Tsukasa Taiko is a resident arts program of the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) in Chicago, which is the site of the main training hall where ongoing sessions and special workshops are held throughout the year. A satellite studio with a limited schedule is also located in the northwestern suburbs. Students have the opportunity to perform at many festivals and city-sponsored events. Millennium Park in downtown Chicago is a popular destination for our taiko performances in the summer months, and students may be asked to showcase their skills playing for marathon runners along Lakeshore Drive and in large events such as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
Over the last decade, Tsukasa Taiko has expanded the scope of what the community taiko group can do and has served as a pioneer in community professionalism, preservation, and development. It is an aesthetic journey that can be provided only by the direct lineage that Tsukasa Taiko possesses.