Bios of the membersToni Y. Yagami returned to Denver in 1995 and has been doing performances and workshops in Colorado and throughout the United States. Toni is also a performing member of TAIKOZA (based in New York City) and has toured with this group throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Prior to her return to Colorado, she was a performing member of San Jose Taiko, a professional performing taiko group, from 1988 through July 1995. This group toured across the US (including Carnegie Hall) and Japan.
Her start was with Denver Taiko (1979-88), which included studies with groups from Japan (KODO, Oedo Sukeroku, and Ondekoza). Other instruments she studied during this time were koto, shamisen and minyo/dance in Denver.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Education, Toni has taught western music in the public schools and
teaches private lessons on saxophone and clarinet in addition to taiko.
She also has several recordings and compositions to her credit.
Lance B. Acker, whose true profession is a jazz reed man (including 21 years with the Queen City Jazz Band), has been playing taiko and takebue (Japanese flute) since 1996. He has studied the bamboo flute with Marco Lienhard (of Ondekoza and Taikoza). Lance holds a Master's degree in Music Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Balancing taiko performances with his Acker Jazztet gigs, as well as a full roster of private woodwind students can sometimes be a challenge!.
Lance & Toni
Junko Shigeta is
Japan where she started playing the koto (Japanese harp) as a little
Ms. Shigeta received her "shihan" (title/certificate for teaching and
koto) in Japan and moved to the United States in the late 1980s. She
in Los Angeles for two years and has been in the Denver area for the
ten years. She organized and is the leader of Koto Colorado, a koto
(6-8 members) that performs at schools and festivals throught the
Junko-san also has a full roster of koto private students. She has
the stage with taiko many times with her koto, and recently has become
part of the taiko performance with Taiko with Toni.
DeDe Torizawa is a current and long lime member of Denver Taiko (since 1976) and has been performing with Taiko with Toni since 1998. Besides taiko, Ms. Torizawa's Japanese cultural training includes classical dance, tea ceremony, shamisen and koto.
Joyce Nakata Kim is one of
members of Denver Taiko
with whom she performed from 1976 until 1987. She moved to California
became a member of San Jose Taiko
for two years. Joyce returned to Colorado in 1994 and has been
with Taiko with Toni since 1998.