About Mu Daiko
Mu Daiko was founded in early 1997 by Mu Performing Arts Artistic Director Rick Shiomi. Shiomi began his taiko career with Katari Taiko in Vancouver in the late 1970s, and has also studied and performed with the San Francisco Taiko Dojo under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, New York’s Soh Daiko, and Wasabi Daiko of Toronto. His initial classes attracted students from both Mu actors and the general public, culminating in Mu Daiko’s first performance in August 1997 at the Lyn-Lake Festival. Mu Daiko presented its first full-length concert in October 1997.
Since then, Mu Daiko has attracted a loyal and expanding audience with its annual concerts and has been instrumental in bringing nationally-renowned taiko artists to the Twin Cities, including Kenny Endo, the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, On Ensemble, Fubuki Daiko, and Kaoru Watanabe. Mu Daiko members have performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, around the state, and across the country. Highlights include performances at the National Taiko Conference (L.A., 2005), the Southern Arizona Taiko Showcase (Tucson, 2006), the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver, 2006), and Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, 2007). In 2012, Mu Daiko celebrates its 15th Anniversary with a Minnesota tour featuring guest artists Hanayui from Japan.
Mu Daiko performs a variety of traditional and contemporary works, ranging from traditional taiko repertoire to original pieces composed by its members. The group regularly premieres new work at its annual performances, continuing to stretch the boundaries of the art form and contributing to the innovation of American taiko.
Members participate in over 100 educational and concert performances annually for schools, community organizations, and corporations throughout Minnesota and the Midwest. Through studio classes and school residencies over the past decade, the Mu Performing Arts taiko program has taught thousands of students of all ages and abilities.
Iris Shiraishi, Artistic Director
Jennifer Weir, Artistic Associate
Cathie Van Danacker
Mu Daiko Interns
Michiko Todokoro Buchanan