LATI Introduction

The Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI) is a dedicated taiko (Japanese drumming) school in Torrance, CA offering 12-week courses, drop-in classes, multi-day intensives, and one-time workshops on a variety of taiko topics.

The "Learn-Taiko!" link above provides the full list of classes at the Institute!

LATI is housed at Asano Taiko U.S. a full-service taiko maker offering exquisite Japanese drums and accessories, as well as on-site taiko repair and reskinning.

Los Angeles Taiko Institute/Asano Taiko U.S. location:
20909 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
310-974-4490
taiko@asano.us

Stanford Taiko Intensive: Day 4

Today’s workshops were on improvisation and timing. With a total of sixteen people, we were able to lay down a base beat with one person playing on each sixteenth note in a four-bar phrase – 1eau2eau3eau4eau. We all found sounds unique to our own particular instruments, and this “R2-ji-2” served as the foundation for the entire improvisation workshop. After practicing the pattern for a while and becoming comfortable with placing our particular beats, Kris slowly built up tools for us to improvise over the base beat.

Stanford Taiko Intensive: Day 3

Kris led today’s workshops on choreography, composition, and small drum fundamentals, focusing as much on learning how to self-diagnose problems as on the techniques themselves. If yesterday was about learning how to sculpt an elephant, today was about learning how to fish; understanding how to teach ourselves took precedence over the underlying drills. This self-awareness is particularly valuable given that we are a collegiate group with no designated leader, so every member is very much responsible for their own improvement.

Stanford Taiko Intensive: Day 2

Hachijo and odaiko with Yuta today! Yuta began with an introduction of the history and context of Hachijo, explaining his own path to studying this particular style. To give a brief summary, he talked about how Hachijo is rooted in the fact that anyone can play, not just young men, hence its prevalence in bars, hotels, and other public areas so everyone can share the joy of playing. On Hachijo Island, however, locals are generally eager to leave as soon as they can, with the attraction of pop culture and foreign customs outweighing that of folk customs and tradition.

Stanford Taiko Intensive: Day 1

After much anticipation, we finally arrived today! Yuta and Kris started the morning with a quick tour of Asano Taiko US as well as recording some diagnostic videos of both naname technique and small drum rhythmic dexterity. We then spent several hours isolating fundamentals, with Kris choosing one individual to be the "keeper" of a particular point. That is, one person will become the master of the ideal grip, another focuses primarily on the angle of the elbow approaching the drum, and so on.

Stanford Taiko Arrives!

Stanford Taiko is Here!

Throughout the week LATI Instructors Kris and Yuta will be teaching Stanford Taiko through their 1-week LATI and LA Taiko Tour!
Thank you Stanford Taiko for coming all the way from Northern California, we look forward to how the week unfolds.

Yuta

Omiyage Class Weeks 8, 9, and 10 - Student Perspective

For the past few weeks, Jen Baik, LATI Coach and Professional Taiko player, has been guiding the class through Omiyage while providing exercises to help us memorize the piece and improve as taiko players. She has been doing a great job preparing us for the LATI Dama Evaluation during PEAC Week, or the last week of class. Each student has the option to complete a small evaluation that tests how well we know the piece and ability to play sections. Although it sounds intimidating, I’m finding it to be a great opportunity push myself and learn Omiyage.

Stanford Taiko Intensive: T-5 Days!

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah Yamamoto, and as Kris mentioned in his last post, I will be blogging during Stanford Taiko’s intensive at LATI next week. We are just wrapping up final exams right now, and everyone is very excited to spend spring break focused solely on taiko. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to learn about both playing and making taiko from such accomplished players and teachers. Kris already mentioned the fact that he began studying taiko at Stanford, and it is certainly inspiring for the current members to see how far he has taken his passion.

Stanford Taiko Intensive next week!

Beginning Monday, Mar 24, Stanford Taiko will be at LATI for a week-long intensive! Yuta and I will be teaching naname, hachijo, odaiko, small drum, improvisation, timing, and selections from Eau de Squarepusher. The group has also reserved studio time at the facility for members' practice and for an intercollegiate taiko get-together. Mr Kato will give a presentation on drum making and Katsuji will lecture about Asano and Asano Taiko US. It's going to be an amazing week!

New Courses starting March 27!

Hello friends of LATI and the Taiko Community,

I am here in Spain touring with the legendary Chieko Kojima of Kodo, assisting her as a taiko musician and translator. The first 2-weeks have been spent in Barcelona where Chieko collaborated with a local contemporary dancer, and the next two in Madrid where we will be performing alongside a local group called Seiwa Taiko.
PHOTOS of my trip in Spain.

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