It’s taiko time again!

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Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center presents the Big Island Taiko Festival 2017 featuring Taishoji Taiko, Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, Kona Daifukuji Taiko and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko. Performances are Saturday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 4, at 2 p.m.

“This exhilarating weekend of vibrant drumming and physical choreography will bring together the best of Big Island Taiko,” said Lee Dombroski, Performing Arts Center Manager and Festival Producer. “Taishoji Taiko, under the direction of Chad Nakagawa, was founded under the direction of Yoshihumi Ono at Taishoji Soto Mission in Hilo. Their energetic, dramatic style will have the audience feeling the rhythm right to their core!”

Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, under the guidance of Advisor Milton Yafuso and Troy Sakihara, practices and performs a drumming style based on Okinawan martial arts.

“Our three-fold mission builds leadership and promotes and preserves the interest in and appreciation for the history and traditions of Okinawan culture and the arts,” explained Yafuso.
The Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, under the direction of Rev. Earl Ikeda and

Paul Sakamoto, was founded in 2003 by Rev. Ikeda as a community-focused group, with drummers of all ages and experience, striving to perpetuate taiko as a cultural and recreational activity.

Kona Daifukuji Taiko was founded in 1988 by Rev. Tamiya and his wife and is comprised of youth from elementary through high school following the directions of their instructors, Akemi Iwamoto and Justin Fernandez.

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala will round out the program. Originally from Okinawa and nurtured by Akemi Martin Sensi, the group boasts over 100 active members across the Hawaiian Islands.

Tickets are General admission and priced at $15 General, $10 Discount, and $7 UH Hilo/Hawaiʻi CC students (with valid ID) and Children 17 and under. Summer Box Office hours are Tuesday-Friday, May 23-June 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call 932-7490 or order online at

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