The North American Taiko Conference (NATC) is a biennial event sponsored by the Taiko Community Alliance (TCA). Started in 1997, the conference was first held in Los Angeles, hosted by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, with the mission of supporting the growth of taiko in North America. NATC has become a central element of the taiko community, with workshops and discussion sessions for players of all levels. NATC also features public performances featuring a wide variety of taiko groups. NATC is attended by virtually all of the taiko community’s leaders, along with hundreds of players from around the world.
NATC was originally held in Los Angeles Japantown. It has since been held at Sacramento State University, the University of Washington, Stanford University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the University of California, San Diego.
The 2019 North American Taiko Conference will be held at Portland State University.
- Build a community of taiko groups in North America
- Share traditions and repertoire
- Support the artistic development of the art-form
- Document North American taiko history
“Taiko” is the Japanese word for drum. In an English context, taiko is used to refer to the art-form of ensemble Japanese drumming, more technically called kumidaiko. Although the drums have existed for thousands of years and are part of a wide variety of Japanese cultural, religious, and musical traditions, use of the drums as the focus of the ensemble emerged in the early 1950′s. Osuwa Daiko, formed by jazz drummer Daihachi Oguchi, is generally considered to be the first kumidaiko (ensemble taiko) group, and the art-form spread quickly throughout Japan. In the United States, San Francisco Taiko Dojo was formed in 1968, followed soon after by Kinnara Taiko in Los Angeles, and then San Jose Taiko. There are now hundreds of community, university, youth, and professional groups around the world.
- 2017 - San Diego, CA
- 2015 - Las Vegas, NV
- 2011 - Stanford, CA
- 2009 - Los Angeles, CA
- 2007 - Seattle, WA
- 2005 - Los Angeles, CA
- 2003 - Sacramento, CA
- 2001 - Los Angeles, CA
- 1999 - Los Angeles, CA
- 1997 - Los Angeles, CA
NATC Conference Committee
Terry Nguyen, Conference Coordinator, Co-Chair
Toni Yagami, Co-Chair
Alan Okada, Soh Daiko
Dan Kubo, Ballico Taiko
Derek Oye, Kinnara Taiko
Heidi Varian, San Francisco Taiko Dojo
Jennifer Caballero, Las Vegas Kaminari Taiko
Kathy Fuller, San Diego Taiko
Mark H Rooney, Mark H Taiko/Kizuna
Stan Shikuma, Seattle Kokon Taiko
Stuart Paton, Burlington Taiko
Wynn Kiyama, Portland Taiko
Yui Kamiya, Kodo
Taiko Community of Portland