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

Yukai Daiko at ATUS/LATI

In the weeks leading up to our annual Spring concert, Yukai Daiko of UCLA reached out to Asano Taiko US and LATI for guidance regarding our concert preparations. Yuta kindly offered to conduct three workshops with us. The first workshop was conducted on April 19th at UCLA and served as a diagnostic. Yuta gave us advice on song arrangements, drum setups, and stage presence.

An open love letter to coach Jen Baik

Dearest Jen,

Yesterday was my first day of PEAC Week, and what a joyous day it was! The students showed so much progress following your coaching session. The PEAC Week activities thus far have been a huge success.

I heard great things about your various drills and your attention to detail regarding form and timing. In the "Naname Form: Fundamental Dexterity" class, the week-11 M-pattern call-and-answer challenge you created, for example, was so well executed, we'll be doing it in the Bachi BBQ recital!

I, and all our students, love you Jen!


Matsuri Battle Prep - How Kris Helped Improve My Solo-ing

When I graduated from college, I wanted to continue playing taiko and improve my skills. I always remembered talking to Kris at collegiate invitations. He was very friendly and generous with his knowledge, inviting anyone to come practice with him in Gardena/Torrance. I was lucky enough to move back to the area while Kris was planning his first Matsuri Battle, inviting anyone to practice with him. I decided to ask if he could help me develop a Matsuri Battle solo and he agreed!

Order your 2014 LATI T-shirt!

The votes have been counted and 2014's Limited Edition LATI shirts will have a green logo!

If you already know that you'd like to purchase a shirt ($20 tax included), please fill out this form by entering the number of shirts you'd like for each size. This will help us ensure you receive your perfect fit.

Deadline to Order: April 30
Shirts Available starting June 1

Joe Small seeking taiko collaborators

LATI friend and taiko colleague, Joe Small, is seeking taiko players to join in the development and presentation of his final MFA thesis at UCLA. Joe spent a number of years studying with Eitetsu Hayashi and is now focusing on choreography. It's an exciting project and a chance to work with dedicated taiko artists. Read on for the details and contact Joe if interested.

CALL FOR TAIKO ARTISTS (or aspiring artists!) in the LA/Southern CA area for CONCERT project with taiko/choreography artist Joe Small

Omiyage Class Week 11 Student Perspective

This is the last week of coaching with Jen and final practice before PEAC Week. It was one of the most fun and tiring practices yet! At the beginning, we circled up and Jen explained the format of the evaluations including what to expect and how we will be tested next week. Then we went right into reviewing and playing different sections, particularly the most difficult and tricky parts. At this time, we were also able to ask Jen questions about parts where we had confusion and go over specific details.

Stanford Taiko intensive wrapup

What an amazing week with an amazing group of taiko players! Thank you to the fourteen members of Stanford Taiko who spent a taiko-filled week with us, studying naname, small-drum, hachijo, and odaiko forms. In addition to four hours of instruction each day, the group rented rehearsal space for practice and arranged get-togethers with local groups. Everyone in LA who had the chance to spend time with Stanford Taiko was glad they visited!

March Madness Matsuri Crashers battle wrapup

Wow, what an event! Thanks to Jason Osajima for arranging and hosting the event, Mike Hirota for co-emceeing, Kim Nakashima and Ayano Ogura for photo and video support, and Asano Taiko US for donation of the facility and the equipment. More than 50 performers participated and we raised over $700 for the 2014 Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational. Yahoo!

Click "Read more" for videos of each of the battles, thanks to Kim's hard work!

Stanford Taiko Intensive: Day 5

After a very full week, we wrapped up today with a final recital incorporating everything we’ve covered: Matsuri solos, a group small drum jam, Hachijo, and odaiko. We also followed up the diagnostic videos from Monday with ending point videos, and in both cases, it was really remarkable to see how far everyone has come in just five days. Given that the group came with relatively little experience overall, we very much appreciated the exposure to a wide range of styles and surfaces.

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.