Perhaps Akina’s finest stroke of genius was incorporating taiko artist Kenny Endo, whose music wove in and out, supplementing the music, supporting the stage action, and inserting solos. Endo’s voice was one of the best of the evening and his drumming contributions were so successful, they should be added to the score.
KENNY ENDO is one of the leading artists in contemporary taiko and percussion. He is at the vanguard of this genre, continuing to pave new paths in Japanese drumming even after forty years as a career taiko artist. A performer, composer, and teacher, with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny is a consummate artist, blending taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation. He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between classical Japanese music and his own neo-traditional, globally inspired variety.