Watsonville Taiko was founded by Jim Hooker in September 1991 as a Taiko drumming community of performers and supporters.

Ikuyo Conant was appointed artistic director in 1992 and set the group's goal to strive through exploration of Taiko to develop an art that combines drumming with folklore, mythology and symbolism. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Watsonville Taiko Group is to foster the evolving cultural expression and traditions of taiko drumming through performances and public education.

Our goal is to create a self-sufficient performance art community that uses taiko drumming as a springboard for a wider cultural and aesthetic understanding of Japanese music, myth, folk lore, dance and theater. 

“Wrapped in the large booming voice of Taiko, I am lost to the deep soft sound that resonates from the drum. The sound of taiko gives me a sense of awe. Creating this awesome sound is very hard. It requires physical training and absolute concentration to be in right position, right form and right mind. The power of taiko synchronizes the power of life in me. When this happens, I feel alive.”
— Ikuyo Conant