Founder/Director: Diana discovered taiko in 2006 with UC Berkeley’s Raijin Taiko. After she graduated in 2007, Diana wanted to bring the amazing experience of taiko drumming to her local community, and thus formed Naruwan Taiko. Her musical experience includes the piano and the violin and she was also a part of her high school orchestra. […]
Performer: Photo Credit: Taiwanese American Community Center.
Performer: Briana began her taiko journey in 2011 as a member of Asayake Taiko at UCSD. After four wonderful years, she graduated and wanted to find a way to keep taiko in her life. Currently a pharmacy student at UCSD, Briana is grateful to have the opportunity to play with Naruwan Taiko and be surrounded […]
Performer: Devin is a percussionist at heart. After many years of taking western percussion, Devin started playing taiko in 2009 with UCI Jodaiko. Four years of collegiate taiko and longing for more taiko in his life, Devin sought more taiko in his hometown of San Diego. In which he found Naruwan taiko performing at San […]
Performer: Ha had never seen taiko before watching Naruwan perform. She feels very lucky to be learning from Naruwan today and hopes to play until she is old and grey. She likes miyake daiko, comfortable shoulders, and good-smelling trees.
Performer: Jennifer has been exposed to music and performing arts her entire life from piano, western percussion, hula and hip hop dance. While in college, Jennifer was a part of the UCLA Drumline all 4 years (GO BRUINS!), so not quite yet exposed to the taiko community. It was not until she returned to her […]
Performer: Jenny started playing taiko back in 2010 at the University of California, Riverside with Senryu Taiko. Before college, she had never heard of taiko before but was drawn to the loud, empowering sounds of the taiko. Her love of taiko grew as she stayed with Senryu all four years of her college career. Currently, […]
Performer: Jessica saw taiko for the first time in high school, as a participant in a student exchange trip to Japan. But her first real exposure to the art was through Senryu Taiko at the University of California, Riverside. Jessica loved the combination of strength and theatrics in taiko, performing for audiences and family alike. […]
Performer: Jimmy was fascinated when he first saw a taiko performance through UCSD’s Asayake Taiko as he was seeking a new hobby that would inspire him tremendously. Opportunity knocked on his computer screen, and he found Naruwan Taiko at the right time. He eagerly started taking community workshops with Naruwan in mid-2010, then joined the […]
Performer: Karen joined Naruwan Taiko in 2010 and says, “My retired life has suddenly become a lot more interesting ever since.” Initially playing taiko was out of her comfort zone. “Without a musical background, my rhythm was horrible, my style was terrible, and my stance was far from being correct. Under a superior leadership by […]
Performer: Kathy has long loved rhythms, both in dance and drums. After playing an African djembe for years and dancing to Middle Eastern rhythms, she is happy to be finally getting back to her roots by playing taiko. She was excited to find Naruwan’s high energy style and welcoming embrace; being part of the Naruwan […]
Performer: Kelly van den Heuvel has been a member of Naruwan Taiko since 2008. A physician from New York, she is very happy to have discovered the joy of taiko and the welcoming taiko community. Photo Credit: Mike Rollerson.
Malina started taking taiko classes with her father back in elementary school. The two practiced and performed together with Ryusei Taiko of Pearl City, Hawaii until Malina moved to California for college and took a break from taiko. After moving to San Diego, she began itching to play taiko again and joined Naruwan in 2017. […]
Nafisah has been doing Western-style percussion since middle school, but put it on hold for college and a profession in media arts. After seeing Naruwan perform in 2014, music has once again entered their life in a loud and exciting way! Naf currently works on Playstation games as an illustrator and concept artist and as […]
Neil first heard taiko during Welcome Week at UC Berkeley in 2009. He was amazed by the high energy and the sheer strength of the performers. Through the years, he would try to catch some of Cal Raijin’s performances. After graduating and returning to San Diego, Neil reached out to one of his high school […]
The first time Nicole saw Naruwan Taiko perform was at the Bon Odori festival in 2015. She was struck by their energy and signed up for their introductory workshop. She immediately fell in love with the art form. She is grateful for the friendships she has made with members of the taiko community and feels […]
Performer: Ruthie first experienced taiko while hiking in the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Hearing drums echo through the Grand Canyon was awe-inspiring but the biggest surprise was that the drummers were Japanese. Happening upon another taiko gathering in Mt. Shasta City, CA, she decided to search for groups locally. After experiencing an extra-energetic Naruwan performance at […]
Performer: Yvonne began playing Taiko in 2009 as a student in Naruwan Taiko’s community classes. Today, she remains grateful and honored to be a member of the Naruwan family, and loves both the energetic artistry of the drumming and the incredible camaraderie of the group. She finds the loud and lively nature of Taiko to […]