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Kenny Endo Contemporary Ensemble with Abe Lagrimas, Jr. and Kaoru Watanabe Rescheduling

Global Masters Series

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Taiko player and percussionist Kenny Endo has long been at the forefront of marrying old traditions to new musical forms.

—All Music

His ability to interweave . . . traditional taiko style with . . . jazz drumming has enabled him to create an incredibly dynamic style of performing that captivated the audience and was literally breathtaking.

—The Grateful Web

Kenny Endo has probably taken taiko the farthest among Americans.

Natural History, the North American Taiko Conference report

As part of MIM’s 10th Anniversary in 2020, MIM’s Music Theater will present the Global Masters Series, which celebrates the creativity and musicianship of artists at the pinnacle of their craft. Each performance brings a unique perspective to the question of why music matters, helping us understand the deep connections we all have to music.

As a jazz percussionist and early innovator in Japanese taiko, Kenny Endo stretches the taiko genre, incorporating influences like funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Hawaiian, with roots firmly grounded in tradition. With 40 years of performing and touring, he continues to lead the way in this Japanese style of drumming.

Abe Lagrimas, Jr. is a musician, composer, educator, and author who plays the drums, vibraphone, and ukulele and studied at Berklee College of Music.

Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn-based composer and musician, specializing on the Japanese taiko drum and shinobue flutes.

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