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Zendeko is a North American taiko group that performs the art of Japanese drumming.


Based in Los Angeles, the group was formed in 1986 and was trained by a professional taiko group from Japan called Za Ondekoza. The group incorporates Zen, the Buddhist practice of meditation, as a part of their training regimen. Zendeko was one of the first all-youth taiko groups to be formed in the United States.

For the past two decades, Zendeko has performed for many prominent events, motion pictures, dignitaries and festivals across the country and internationally. They have performed for dignitaries such as the Emperor and Empress of Japan, the 14th Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, and President George Bush Sr. Motion picture and television credits include The Tonight Show with rock band, Korn, MTV VMA's, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Ellen DeGeneres Show with Kanye West, and an appearance in Sony Pictures motion picture Charlie's Angels (film). They have collaborated with accomplished composers and musicians which include professional drummer Peter Erskine, composer/ musician Richard Gibbs and the late Masakazu Yoshizawa, who was also their mentor in Japanese wind instruments.

Zendeko has continued to train and practice the teaching of their mentors, passing on the tradition of the performing art to a new generation of youth and adults alike. The group strives to create original pieces with their own stories to form new traditions to be passed on for generations.

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