Since 1997 Taikoz has developed an international reputation for vibrant performances that couple explosive energy and extreme dynamism with refinement and grace. From the most delicate melodies of the shakuhachi to the thunderous impact of the odaiko, Taikoz is at once meditative and free-spirited, primal and dramatic.
Taikoz perform on the stages of Australia's finest concert halls, as well having performed in leading theatres and concert halls worldwide including in Japan, Paris, Bangkok, Taiwan, Abu Dhabi, The USA where Taikoz gave a series of performances on the West Coast, culminating in headline appearances in the Taiko Nation concerts at the 2014 World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles and most recently India, where Taikoz presented Chi Udaka, their collaboration with Lingalayam Dance Company, to critical acclaim.
The group regularly appears in the theatres of regional Australia, having undertaken six Australia-wide tours. Taikoz has composed over thirty original works for wadaiko including several in combination with instruments such as shakuhachi, koto, marimba, saxophone, cello, drum set and didgeridoo. Distinguished composers Lachlan Skipworth, Sandy Evans, Gerard Brophy, Andrea Molino, Michael Askill, David Pye, Graeme Koehne and Timothy Constable have also written works for the ensemble.
Taikoz has collaborated with artists and companies as diverse as John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, taiko greats Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Yoko Fujimoto, Eitetsu Hayashi, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, as well as distinguished choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli. In 2012, Taikoz collaborated with Kodo on a nation-wide tour of Australia. The group has also appeared in concerto works with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Dresden Sinfoniker in Europe. In February 2018, Taikoz, Riley Lee and Kaoru Watanabe were featured soloists with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing their own works in arrangements for the ensemble and orchestra, culminating in a newly commissioned work by Lachlan Skipworth called The Breath Of Thunder.
Awards include Limelight Best New Composition Award for Kaidan, Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of Taikoz's commitment to Australian music and a Drover Award for regional touring and education.
- Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Yoko Fujimoto: Taikoz Live! Featuring Ninin Angya
- The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Lachlan Skipworth (composer), Riley Lee (performer/composer), Kaoru Watanabe (performer/composer): The Breath Of Thunder and other works by Cleworth, Lee and Watanabe (2018) (World Premiere Works)
- Sandy Evans in 20: Land-Sea-Sky-Home (2017) (World Premiere Work)
Anandavalli and Lingalayam in Chi Udaka / Sydney Festival (2014) (World Premiere Work)
- Kaoru Watanabe in Future Directions (2014)
- Satsuki Odamura in Crimson Sky (2014, 2013, 2012)
- Kodo in Kodo and Taikoz In Concert Australian Tour (2012)
- 150 taiko players, drummers and percussionists in Fireworks / Sydney Festival First Night (2010)
- John Bell and The Bell Shakespeare Company in William Shakespeare's Pericles (2009)
- Senior members of Kodo – Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Yoko Fujimoto, Motofumi Yamaguchi and Eiichi Saito – in Kodo and Taikoz In Concert (2009)
- Director and choreographer Meryl Tankard in Kaidan: A Ghost Story - a dance, music, theatre work / Sydney Festival at the Sydney Opera House (2007) (World Premiere Work)
- Composer Andrea Molino in Winners - a multi-media work for symphony orchestra, wadaiko, saxophones and film / Brisbane Biennial (2006) (World Premiere Work)
- Eitetsu Hayashi and Fuun no Kai in Australia and Japan (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008)
- Wadaiko Matsumura-gumi in Australia and Japan (2004, 2005)
Chi Udaka, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Mumbai, India (2016)
- Womad, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2015)
- World Taiko Gathering, Los Angeles USA (2014)
- Abu Dhabi, UAE (2013)
- Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan, Taiwan (2011)
- Kitakami Michinoku Geinou Matsuri, Japan (2010)
- National Theatre of Japan, Tokyo, Japan (2008)
Winners, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2006)
- Hibike Festival, Echizen, Japan (2005)
- Bangkok International Music Festival, Thailand (2004)
- Kaikyōsai Festival, Kobe, Japan (2001)
- Commendation from the Japanese Foreign Minister for contribution towards promoting friendship and goodwill between Australia and Japan for both Riley Lee and Ian Cleworth (2016)
- Limelight ‘Best New Composition Award’ for Kaidan (2007)
- Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in recognition of Taikoz's commitment to Australian music (2006)
- Drover Award for regional touring and education (2005)
‘You don’t just listen to this music. You see it and feel it, too. Totally compelling.’
Sydney Morning Herald
‘It’s the seeing that turns an exhilarating aural experience into something close to dance theatre with a spiritual bent. The virtuosity is thrilling but even better is the sense of pure joy the players transmit.’