Our story began in 1997, when Mu Daiko was founded by Rick Shiomi. Over twenty years, Mu Daiko built a strong community of artists, students, and enthusiasts. We created a diverse canon of new work and gained a national reputation for a unique visual and theatrical style of performance. Mu Daiko has taught thousands of students in schools and is often an audience’s first introduction to the art form itself. The taiko program grew so successful, we eventually realized the missions of Mu Performing Art’s theater and taiko programs would be better served by separate organizations.
In March 2016, Jennifer Weir founded TaikoArts Midwest, as an independent spin-off from Mu, while retaining the same leadership, artists, music, studio, and instruments as existed with Mu Daiko. In addition, TaikoArts Midwest now supports two resident taiko groups: Mu Daiko renamed as Ensō Daiko, and ensemble-MA, led by former Mu Daiko Artistic Director Iris Shiraishi.
TaikoArts Midwest is dedicated to supporting artistic excellence in taiko performance.We celebrate and recognize the full diversity and depth of taiko arts. We provide aspiring taiko drummers opportunities to train and grow while sustaining taiko traditions and encouraging innovation. We understand the challenges and importance of representing Asian arts and artists in our Minnesota landscape. We believe in the emotional, cultural, and physical benefits of teaching taiko, especially in our schools.
TaikoArts Midwest's mission is to nurture artistic excellence and deepen and expand the impact of taiko in our communities. We believe that taiko has the power to make the world a better place. Come check us out. We have big dreams, big drums and we are just getting started!