Members

 
 

Diana Wu

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. […]

Devin Tani

Instructor: 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 later and longing for more taiko in his life, Devin sought taiko in his hometown of San Diego, in which he found Naruwan Taiko performing at San […]

Jimmy Nguyen

Instructor: Jimmy was fascinated when he first saw a taiko performance by 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 […]

Amy Fan

Amy has been in Naruwan Taiko since 2008. She loves the ability to challenge herself musically and expressively through taiko, and also loves that the group has been a source of inspiration for its members and audiences.

Daniel Fasching

Daniel has had a love for taiko since he was a kid. His parents would take him to taiko concerts as they would come to town. In 2014, Daniel saw Naruwan perform at a Chinese New Year festival and wanted to be a part of that. Soon after, he joined Naruwan Taiko with next to […]

Ha Nguyen

Ha had never seen taiko before Naruwan. Inspired by the group’s spirit, she joined in 2008 and still finds it thrilling to hit a drum today. She has learned so much from the openness and generosity of the taiko community and hopes to become more and more connected to the shared beat. She loves the […]

Jen Sim

Jen 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 hometown […]

Jenny Dang

Jenny started playing taiko back in 2010 at UC Riverside with Senryu Taiko. Before college, she had never heard of taiko 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, she is an active performing […]

Jessica Woods

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. She […]

Joe Bright

Joe has been with Naruwan Taiko since August of 2014. He started taking classes in the fall of 2013 after seeing Naruwan perform at the Harmony and Motion concert. Joe was instantly hit with the urge to learn this wonderful art form. Taiko has greatly enhanced his love of music and he is thankful for […]

Joseph Caluza

Joseph was first exposed to taiko with the popular arcade game franchise, Taiko no Tatsujin (“taiko master” in English). It provided fun and entertainment for him from junior high through high school but, when Joseph saw UCSD’s Asayake Taiko performing one night, it became more than a game. After going through Asayake’s tryout process just […]

Karen Hsia

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 superior leadership by Diana Wu, […]

Kathy Tanaka

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 family […]

Kelly van den Heuvel

Kelly joined Naruwan Taiko in 2008 and has been having great fun practicing and performing with the group ever since. Originally from New York, Naruwan was her first exposure to taiko shortly after moving to San Diego. She joined after watching one of Naruwan’s early performances and was inspired by the group’s joyful and energetic […]

Liz Rouse

Liz began her taiko journey after seeing Naruwan perform at a festival in 2015. Following that performance, she signed up for what she thought would be a one-time workshop experience and ended up finding a lifelong passion and a second family. She is grateful to have been welcomed into this amazing group and to continue […]

Lori Mullen

Lori started playing taiko in 2015 shortly after moving to San Diego. Coming from 15 years of training in the martial arts — but with no musical background or experience — she yearned for something more creative! She is deeply grateful to have found Naruwan Taiko. The lively rhythms of the taiko drums along with […]

Malina Moy

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. […]

Neil Fajardo

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 […]

Priscilla Chan

Fascinated with taiko when she first saw it in a summer concert at the age of 8, Priscilla dreamed of hitting the drum one day. Years later, the opportunity came when she started taking community classes with Naruwan in 2015. She enjoys taiko because its contagious uplifting energy ripples through the air. Biostatistician by day […]

Rebecca Morgan

Rebecca stumbled upon Naruwan in June of 2016 when they were performing at Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. She could hardly contain her excitement and knew instantly that taiko was something she wanted to try. Rebecca spent many of her younger years involved in dance, theater, music, and art. Currently she earns her bread and butter […]

Ruthie Lucas

Ruthie first experienced taiko while hiking in the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Hearing drums echo through the Grand Canyon was awe-inspiring. The biggest surprise was that the drummers were Japanese. After attending a taiko gathering in Mount Shasta, California, she decided to search for groups locally. After experiencing an energetic Naruwan performance at Liberty Station, she […]

Yvonne Lee

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.

Corin Thornburg

Corin started her taiko journey with Ryusei Taiko in Hawaii while she was in elementary school and played throughout high school. After moving to San Diego for grad school, Corin was introduced to Naruwan Taiko in 2018.

Kristen Taketa

Kristen started playing taiko in 2011 at UCLA with the student group Yukai Daiko. She played there for just a couple years but enjoyed the close camaraderie that is inherent in taiko groups, the mental and physical challenges that come with the art form, and having a way to connect with her Japanese-American heritage. Kristen […]

Melanie Uhl

Melanie has always loved the powerful, moving sound of the taiko and the way it makes her feel. She wanted to learn the art for years, but was unable to find a group that taught classes. After seeing a taiko performance at her son’s school, she began her search again. Melanie took her first Naruwan […]