Taiko Drumming expert Kenny Endo shares cultural tradition

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HONOLULU (HI Now) - The Honolulu Festival has grown to be one of Hawaii’s most anticipated events, each year bringing together thousands from around the world. Due to the pandemic, this year has been put on hold, but festival goers and participants look forward to a fun filled festival next year!

HI Now host Kanoe Gibson got to immerse herself in the art of taiko with artist Kenny Endo at the Waikiki Beach Walk and learn more about how the Honolulu Festival promotes an awareness of cultural traditions.

Endo is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, he is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation.

In the greater musical world, “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with “taiko.” He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the classical Japanese style and his own neo-traditional, globally inspired variety. Among his many distinctions are an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, an artist residency at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York, his own “Kenny Endo Day” proclaimed by the Mayor of Honolulu, and certificates of honor from the Hawaii State House of Representatives, State Senate, and the Honolulu City Council.

To learn more about Endo or the Japanese style of drumming, visit kennyendo.com.

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