Misora Taiko

Misora Taiko

Burnsville, Minnesota, United States

Founded January 2002

Basic Information


Background Information


Misora Taiko's mission is to create positive energy in the world through our music and presence.

Our motivation is a strong desire to joyfully create and share music that inspires and delights ourselves and others.

Describe the ensemble's organizational structure and philosophy, including leadership structure, membership policy, and instructional process.

Misora Taiko is led by a combination artistic director/sensei. All members are equals, contributing their individual talents to the ensemble. Our philosophy is to encourage and support each other on our taiko journey. Membership evolves naturally. Most current and past members have been taiko students of Sara Dejoras.

Group History
Describe how, where, and why the ensemble was founded. What was its inspiration?

Misora Taiko was founded in 2002 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Artistic Director Sara Dejoras. It was formed out of a deep passion for Japanese drumming and a desire to share that passion and joy with audiences.


Sara Dejoras, Founder
Michael Holland, Original Member
Romona Safree, Original Member
Valandra!, Original Member
Jeannie Lee, Original Member
Angie Tessier, Original Member


Sandi Likely
Lars Christensen
Shawn Glidden
Ellen Keane
Cathy Wind Keane
Angie Tessier

(i.e. ethnicity, generation, average years of experience, musical backgrounds, and motivation for playing)

Misora Taiko is a multi-ethnic ensemble. The current members have an average of three years of experience drumming. Ages range from 20's to 40's.

Describe two of the biggest changes that have characterized the group's development since its founding

In the fall of 2002, Misora Taiko acquired a dojo space. This allowed the ensemble great freedom for growth. It also led to The Misora Taiko Dojo, which offers adult classes and a summer taiko day camp for children.

In 2004, we began collaborating with Keane Sense of Rhythm, fusing the rhythms and choreography of tap dance with taiko.


List a selection of your regular performance venues (for example, Denver Sakura Matsuri, Seabrook obon, business conventions, Manzanar Pilgrimage, Maui Marathon, etc.)

MINNESOTA OUTDOOR FESTIVALS AND EVENTS: Minneapolis Mosaic, Como Park Lantern Lighting Festival, Twin Cities Marathon, The St. Paul Saints (baseball games) at Midway Stadium, The Dragon Festival, The Lynx at Target Center, The Farmer's Market, Linden Hills Live Music Festival

CORPORATE EVENTS: Target, Marshall Field's, JUUT Salon, Zonta International, Alliance


List the instructors, teachers and mentors who have worked with the ensemble.

Individual members have taken private classes or workshops with Seiichi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, Marco Leinhardt, Hono Taiko, The Asano Dojo, Fubuki Taiko and the Nishimonai Bon Odori Society.

List a selection of non-taiko players or groups that have collaborated with the ensemble.

Xelias Aerial Performance Company (Aerial Dance)
Keane Sense of Rhythm (Tap Dance)
Chikara Dojo (Martial Arts)
Renaissance Jane (Ethnic Singing)
Girl Germs (Ethnic Music)

List a selection of publicly accessible audio and/or video recordings featuring the ensemble.

"Taiko-Ethnic Fusion", audio compact disc by Misora Taiko

"Taiko-Ethnic Fusion" is a mix of taiko drumming, saxophone, marimbe, frula, guitar, voice, fiddle and various ethnic instruments. Israeli, Bulgarian and Appalachain folk melodies are also blended in, as is the rhythmic sound of tap dancing.

List a selection of articles, master's theses, dissertations, or other publications written about the ensemble.

Newspaper articles:
Asian Pages
The St. Paul Pioneer Press
Asian American Press

Photos of Misora Taiko have appeared in The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Mpls/St. Paul Magazine.

Describe the ensemble's musical and performance styles.

Misora Taiko is a fusion taiko performance ensemble that combines the grace and powerful sound of taiko drumming with various ethnic and jazz instruments to create a captivating world rhythm.

Please include title, composer, date of composition, special reason(s) for composition, and what the work represents to the group.

"Arashi", composed by Sara Dejoras in 2000, for a concert performance, "Taiko Storm", at The Southern Theatre, Mpls.

"Misora Taiko", composed by Sara Dejoras in 2002, commissioned by the Minneapolis Jewish Day School for their "Raise the Roof!" benefit.

"Flight!", composed by Sara Dejoras in 2003, commissioned by the College of St. Benedict for "Get ZAPT!".

"Sushi", composed by Sara Dejoras & Misora Taiko in 2004

"Heartbeat", composed by Sara Dejoras in 2004 for "The Heartbeat of the Drum", an original taiko play by Sara Dejoras, produced by SteppingStone Theatre, St. Paul


Sara Dejoras
54 Garden Drive, Burnsville MN 55337
Burnsville, MN, US


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