We are inspired after learning from North American taiko artist Kris Bergstrom.

Learning New Choreography Skills

This month, we welcomed accomplished taiko performer, composer and choreographer Kris Bergstrom for two days of workshops. A founding member of one of our favorite groups, On Ensemble, as well as the Los Angeles Taiko Institute, Kris is especially known for his creative choreography on naname, or slant-style, taiko and our time with Kris focused on using this style to create more dramatic movements. The experience was challenging to both the brain and the body, but in the end we came out with a lot of new techniques to add purpose and excitement to our choreography, both as an ensemble and in our solos.

Performing member Jack Glennon was was also impressed to meet a fellow tall taiko player! After years of feeling "too tall" for taiko, Jack got some great tips on how to open up and use his height to his advantage, resulting in more dramatic movements during solos sure to impress the audience. 

We're always grateful when a professional taiko player joins us to share tips and experiences, and our time with Kris was no exception! We had a great time learning from Kris and are excited to show off our new skills at upcoming shows.


Learn to Play Taiko

Our spring session is about to begin! Our Adult class is suited for both beginners as well as players who have some experience but can't devote 10+ hours per week to taiko. Learn the basics of sticking, kata (form), movement, theory, and rhythms of taiko. By the end of the 10-week session, you will also have learned a piece to play. Classes meet weekly at our practice studio, beginning in April. Visit for more information and to sign up. 

Song Profile: Yose Bayashi

Written by Dengakuza

Yose Bayashi is a hayashi, or folk-style song, taught to us by Keiji Uesugi of Yoki Daiko at a collegiate taiko invitational. While it's written mostly for fue, the Japanese flute, the song also includes fun elements for the taiko, including kakegoe, shouts and calls of encouragement to the players. The choreography is often improvised to highlight the festival nature of the piece and players often switch drums between verses, adding to the playfulness.

The taiko section of the song is simple to learn, and we frequently teach it to our beginning taiko students. The photo above shows our taiko students performing Yose Bayashi with us at our 30th Anniversary Concert in 2016. You can also hear us playing during the dashi procession at the annual Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Upcoming Performances

Sake and Sakura
Friday, April 5 - 6:00 PM
Missouri Botanical Garden - Northeast Lawn of Japanese Garden
Get Tickets

A Celebration of Japanese Culture
Sunday, May 5 -11:00 AM
Missouri History Museum
Free Event

SLAM Passport to Japan
Sunday, May 19 - 1:30 PM
St. Louis Art Museum - Grace Taylor Broughton Sculpture Garden
Free Event

Gateway Dragon Boat Festival
Saturday, June 23 - 9:20 AM
Creve Coeur Lake - Sailboat Cove
Free Event
We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
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10734 Trenton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63132
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St. Louis Osuwa Taiko · 10734 Trenton Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63132 · USA

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