Media Release


Winnipeg, Manitoba – Winnipeg taiko fans will get a birthday bash like no other when Hinode Taiko fills the stage at the RWB’s Founders’ Studio (380 Graham Ave) November 25-26 to celebrate its 35th anniversary in a concert entitled “Kansha” (Gratitude).

This is the first performance in Winnipeg history to feature a full spectrum of past and present Hinode members, alongside guest artists Fubuki Daiko. The varied performers (whose experience ranges from 1 to 30+ years) have been brought together by their shared love for a rib-shaking musical genre whose peak moments are often likened to the sound of rolling thunder. Sweeter harmonies from koto (Japanese harp) – played by local maestro Junko Rybuck – and shinobue (bamboo flute) will provide a contrast to the percussive storm.

A catalyst for the event is the concert artistic director, Yuko Nozoe. “No ensemble can last 35 years without a ton of support, so it’s a perfect opportunity for us to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped us get to this point,” says Nozoe. That appreciation extends to the troupe’s founding members, alumni, sensei (teachers), composers, funders, donors and sponsors, as well as audiences and the local Japanese-Canadian community.

Nozoe is a recent arrival to Winnipeg, with impeccable credentials as a graduate of the famously rigorous apprentice program of Japan’s leading taiko ensemble KODO, along with expertise as a performer and/or instructor for North American taiko groups YAKUDO (Toronto) and Great Lakes Taiko Centre / Raion Taiko (Novi, Michigan), and a B.Mus degree in collaborative piano performance from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario).

“Anyone who’s enjoyed Hinode’s performances over the years will be in for an unforgettable show,” according to long-time member Margaret McKenty. “The energy at rehearsals is incredible.” The program includes selections from Hinode’s and Fubuki’s signature repertoire, traditional Japanese festival music, open-source taiko pieces from across North America, and two original works by Nozoe debuting at this performance.

Hinode Taiko means “rising sun drums,” a name reflecting the group’s roots in the Canadian prairies. Founded in 1982 as Manitoba’s first taiko troupe, the group has earned a reputation in the North American taiko scene as one of Canada’s most durable taiko ensembles. Hinode Taiko’s appearances at home and abroad have extended its fan base from Winnipeg to Japan, the birthplace of taiko.

Tickets to “Kansha” cost $25, and are available from the Japanese Canadian Association of Manitoba (JCAM) (180 McPhillips Street, 204-774-5909) and Hinode Taiko members.

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For more information about Hinode Taiko and the “Kansha” anniversary concert, please contact: Margaret McKenty at (431)999-8665 (, or Yuko Nozoe at (431)335 -3943 (

Photo opportunities:
Sunday, November 12 or November 19, 10:00am-12noon or 5:00-6:00pm. Please email or call in advance to confirm date/time and location.

Hinode Taiko Inc. ©