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Kaoru Watanabe Workshop & Performance

Kaoru Watanabe, one of the world’s leading taiko and shinobue (Japanese flute) artists is coming to DC!

Mark H Taiko is proud to present a workshop and special performance with Kaoru in Takoma Park on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27.


Kaoru Watanabe Shapeshifter Lab Odaiko

Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn based composer and musician who specializes in both taiko and shinobue (Japanese flutes). A former member and artistic director of the internationally renowned taiko ensemble Kodo, Kaoru is an instructor for kaDON (an online taiko and fue resource presented by Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten of Tokyo) as well as the founder of the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center in New York. He has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton University since 2010 and has taught courses at Wesleyan University as well as Colby and Dickinson Colleges. He also has extensive training in Western music, having earned a BFA in jazz flute and saxophone performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

Kaoru Watanabe


Workshop: Form and Function – Body Mechanics for the Taiko Player ($75)

Saturday, September 26, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

This workshop will help participants develop greater body awareness in order play taiko with considerably more power, efficiency and grace.

More information about the workshop

Register for the workshop

Performance: Meet the Artist ($10 – $20 Suggested Donation)

Sunday, September 27, 7:30 pm

In this special evening, Kaoru will share current pieces and share his methodologies and influences in an intimate, informal setting. This unique opportunity is perfect for everyone – from experienced taiko players to those who will be seeing taiko for the very first time.

More information about the performance
Kaoru Watanabe looking awesome

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Get your summer taiko on!

Published on July 29, 2015, in Classes.

Summer taiko is the BEST!

Our latest Recreational Taiko Class is underway and it’s clear we’ve got a FANTASTIC bunch of taiko players on our hands!

Look at those smiling faces!

Look at those smiling faces! You can just tell this class is awesome!

It’s not too late to join in the fun – if you’ve got taiko experience, you can drop in on a class when you’re free (just contact Mark H first). If you are new to taiko, Mark can arrange a private lesson for you. Or, if you just want to see this new class in action, come out to the Reston Multicultural Festival on September 26 and cheer them on as they perform!

Rec Class Summer 2015

Have a great summer!

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Taiko for Movers Workshop – CANCELLED

Published on June 30, 2015, in Workshops.

FEAR NOT!  We will DEFINITELY be presenting this workshop in the fall!  Watch this space…

WHEN: Saturday, July 25, 10:00am – 12:00 pm
WHERE: Dance Exchange, 7117 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD
FEE: $40 per person to support Dance Exchange


Since it was founded by Liz Lerman in 1976, Dance Exchange has produced more than 100 innovative dance/theatre works, presented thousands of performances and conducted innumerable community encounters. Their studios in Takoma Park, MD provide a home for dancers, tai chi practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, and of course, the Mark H Taiko School!


Now, Dance Exchange needs our help to continue to serve the DC area’s vibrant arts community. Mark H is offering a workshop as a fundraiser for Dance Exchange. Your $40 registration will go ENTIRELY to help support this long-standing institution in the dance community!

Just what is this workshop? In a word: AWESOME! This is a taiko (Japanese drumming) workshop geared specifically for movers! Dancers have always been some of the best taiko players because of their acute body awareness and rhythmic training. Now, after many years of collaborating with dancers, Mark H wants to invite all dancers to try taiko for the first time! This workshop is not just for professional dancers – it is for everyone interested in exploring the relationship between rhythm and movement.

Registering for this workshop will help ensure that Dance Exchange has a home to create their work; community artists have studios in which to rehearse; intergenerational artists have a place to connect and collaborate; teens discover the magic of movement; and more!

Don’t miss out! Sign up here!

Can’t make the workshop, but still want to support Dance Exchange? You can donate here.



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Ready to try taiko? Take Mark’s next introductory taiko workshop!

Published on June 23, 2015, in Workshops.

Summer is the perfect time to take a break from our usual routines and try something new! Regardless of what’s on your agenda this summer (taking a great family vacation, relaxing by the pool, perfecting your sangria recipe…), don’t forget to make time for taiko! If you’re ready to hit the big drums for the first time, sign up for Mark H’s next Introductory Taiko Workshop on Sunday, July 19 from 5-8pm in Takoma Park. This workshop is appropriate for ages 13 and up and is easily accessible via Metro.

Learn more here, or go ahead and sign up through the House of Musical Traditions!

Kokyo @ 2014 Sakura Taiko Fest

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Miyake Intensive Workshops

Published on May 10, 2015, in Workshops.

If you’ve played taiko for more than a little while, chances are that you’re familiar with Miyake. This exciting, physically demanding piece has made it around the world thanks to groups like Kodo and Ondekoza.

But if you’ve never learned Miyake from the Tsumura family (the “first family” of Miyake), you’ve never REALLY learned Miyake!

Mark H Taiko is proud to host a weekend of workshops with the Tsumura family – a rare opportunity to study the original version of this song from Miyake Jima. There will be a one-hour Introduction to Miyake as well as a six-hour, two-day Miyake Intensive Workshop. For those who have limited experience with Miyake or want a bit of a refresher before the Intensive Workshop, you can register for both (and save)!

Tsumura Family


Saturday, June 6, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

This one-hour workshop introduces the basic rhythms and form for this dynamic taiko style.  Recommended for those with little to no experience in the Miyake style of taiko, but not recommended for those with absolutely no taiko experience.

Tsumura Miyake Intro



Saturday, June 6, 6:15 p.m. – 9:15 p.m. AND
Sunday, June 7, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

This six-hour intensive workshop will study the Miyake drumming style in-depth and learn about the various elements to the Miyake taiko tradition.  This is a very physical form of drumming and not recommended for those with minimal taiko experience.
Experienced taiko drummer but not familiar with Miyake?  Need a quick refresher before going into the intensive?  Sign up for both workshops for $170 and get the full experience from start to finish!

Register here! These awesome workshops are filling up FAST, so don’t wait!

Workshops will be held at Dance Exchange, 7117 Maple Ave. in Takoma Park, MD.

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