Makoto Taiko


Makoto Taiko is one of California’s premiere taiko ensembles, founded in 1999 by Sensei Steven Tokunaga. The group’s name ‘makoto.’ can imply integrity of thought, action, and spirit. It can also translate as ‘sincerity and truth.’ Makoto Taiko performs at an ever-expanding list of venues throughout the Los Angeles area including, most recently, the Cathedral of the Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles and Level Three in Hollywood. Other places they have played include the Prayer Vigil in Washington D.C., the Catskill Mountain Cultural Festival in New York, and at the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. Offshoot groups in Colorado and New York State continue to grow.
In 2005, Steven Tokunaga passed on the leadership of the group to taiko master Koji Nakamura. Mr. Nakamura is considered one of today’s finest taiko artists. He was a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Shumei Taiko Ensemble, and its first leader. He can be heard on most of the Ensemble’s recordings. After leaving the Ensemble Steven was featured on Eugene Friesen’s CD, “Sono Miho” and Paul Winter’s Grammy winning CD, “Crestone.”
Besides the physical prowess, rigorous training, and talent required of a taiko artist, within Makoto Taiko there is also a spiritual base and intent from which its music arises. The deeply spiritual character of the music is thought not only to benefit the players but the audience as well.