3rd ETC 2018

3rd European Taiko Conference

Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th February 2018, Hamburg, Germany

Conference Director: Jonathan Kirby
Conference Manager: Lucy Thomas
Hosted by: Kion Dojo, Tama Daiko, Tengu Daiko, Yo Bachi Daiko
Sponsored by kaDON / Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten
For general information about the European Taiko Conference, please see the homepage.


ETC3 took place at the Sunderhof, just outside Hamburg, in Germany. We opened registration at 10am on Sunday 24th September. All 80 of the delegate places for ETC3 had been sold by 11:15am. The Conference began on Thursday evening with a welcome dinner and evening reception. It closed at lunchtime on Sunday.


Kaoly Asano

KAOLY ASANO is based in Tokyo. She founded her group GOCOO and her school, known as TAWOO Taiko Dojo in 1997. GOCOO are known for their unique style, sometimes referred to as “groove taiko” or “tribal taiko”, breaking away from more traditional forms of taiko drumming. They are the first group to perform at a wide range of music festivals around the world, Sziget Festival, Montreux and Womad to name but a few. GOCOO have toured in Europe every year since 2003.

Masato Baba

MASATO BABA was born into a musical family and started playing taiko at age 6 under the tutelage of his parents and professional taiko players, Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer of Shasta Taiko. After graduation of high school, Maz went to Hawaii to study taiko under taiko master, Kenny Endo and then to Japan to further his studies. In his thirty-three years of studying, performing, and teaching, Maz has become one of the most respected taiko players in North America. He currently serves as artistic director for TAIKOPROJECT and performs regularly with taiko-fusion group, On Ensemble.

Shoji Kameda

SHOJI KAMEDA is a Grammy nominated musician, composer and producer. He started playing taiko at the age of 8 and has played continuously since. Collaborations with international artists have taken Shoji to Bali, Malaysia, French Guiana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Shoji is a founding member of On Ensemble and the group’s primary creative force. In 2013 On Ensemble was invited to perform at the National Theater of Japan for their prestigious “Nihon no Taiko” series.

Eiichi Saito

EIICHI SAITO joined Kodo in 1982. Since then, he has been a featured performer on domestic and international tours, as well as in recordings and collaborations with artists of varying genres. For over three decades, he has captivated and invigorated audiences worldwide with his energetic performances. In addition to his stage activities, Saito shares his passion for creative exchange by leading workshops that convey the power of taiko through self-discovery. Also for many years, he has been one of the instructors for Kodo Apprentice Centre, and teaches the basics of a professional taiko player to the apprentices that gathers from all over Japan and the world. We could even say that the performance basics of most current performers on Kodo, have been trained by Saito.

Eiichi Saito has kindly stepped in at the last minute to replace Katsuji Kondo, who is unable to participate.

DELEGATES had 2 x 2 hour workshops with 2 of these workshop leaders. For example, 2 x 2 hour workshops with Workshop Leader #1 and 2 x 2 hour workshops with Workshop Leader #3. Each workshop taught a short piece of repertoire – the same piece of repertoire to each group. On Sunday morning, delegates performed this newly-learned repertoire. The idea is that everyone will have two new taiko songs to take back to their group. See below for videos of the final, performances.

In addition to workshops, there were discussion groups, plenary sessions, early-morning taiko drills, informal performances, and socialising in the basement bars (and bowling alley!) as well as the opportunity to relax and talk in other parts of the Sunderhof.

Worldwide Matsuri, by Shoji Kameda

This is a recording of the Sunday morning performance of Worldwide Matsuri by Shoji’s second workshop group.

Swinging Slow and Fast, by Masato Baba

This is a recording of the Sunday morning performance of Swinging Slow and Fast by Maz’s second workshop group.

Wa No Ichi, by Kaoly Asano

This is a recording of the Sunday morning performance of Wa No Ichi by Kaoly’s second workshop group.


Narushima, by Katsuji Kondo, taught by Eiichi Saito

This is a recording of the Sunday morning performance of Narushima by Eiichi’s second workshop group.

See also: European Taiko Conference Homepage; 1st European Taiko Conference; 2nd European Taiko Conference. 4th European Taiko Conference