--Photo by Sydney Shiroyama
Based at the University of California, Irvine, Jodaiko has been part of the North American taiko community from as far back as the early 1990's. Founded by Peggy Kamon and David Shiwota, the group has since graduated a large number of collegiate taiko players, and continues to actively perform today.
Their relatively large membership (compared to many other US collegiate taiko groups) gives them an on-stage presence of impact. This is further bolstered by the impressive precision of each performer in executing their movements and rhythms. The accurately-timed swings and pauses are a clear indication that their large repertoire of original songs are well-studied and practiced.
Their variety of stances and styles is a likely product of their long history as a self-made collegiate taiko group. Kumi-daiko has only been around for a few decades, thus, Jodaiko's 20-year long presence puts them amongst the longest standing taiko groups, particularly in North America.
Jodaiko conducts two four-hour practices during the Academic Year, which are open those interested in applying to the group. See their website for further information on performances and practices: http://www.jodaiko.com/index.php.