Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a versatile drummer, percussionist, and taiko player with a multifaceted musical background. Born in Japan, his passion for drumming started at an early age through the involvement of a youth taiko ensemble directed by Saburo Mochizuki, a founding member of Tokyoʼs pioneering taiko ensemble Sukeroku Daiko. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University, where he performed, recorded, and toured as a member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble under the direction of the late Robert Hohner, and his Master of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. During his time in Honolulu, Eien performed and toured extensively as a member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble throughout the United States and Europe and taught classes at the Taiko Center of the Pacific, a school of traditional and contemporary taiko.
Currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Eien collaborates with shakuhachi artist Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos to present category-defying music with his ensemble Maru. He performs regularly with On Ensemble and has worked with electro- acoustic groups Isshin Denshin Atmospheric Ensemble and Haagen & Ryuzen, TomoeArts dancer/actor/ choreographer Colleen Lanki, Michael O'Neill's bagpipe ensemble Mearingstone, Vancouver’s Silk Road Music, Uzume Taiko, African band Kow Kanda, and rock/reggae band Still Creek.
Eien has performed at the North American Taiko Conference, Vancouverʼs Powell Street Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Hawaii International Taiko Festival, Honolulu International Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival. A very active instructor of percussion, taiko, and shinobue, he has presented workshops at the North American Taiko Conference and the Pacific Northwest Regional Taiko Gathering, and continues to teach workshops and private lessons to players of all ages and levels.