Topham to Tohoku benefit concert

Topham to Tohoku – Rainbow of Hope
A concert in support of Tohoku Rainbow House and 2011 tsunami orphans

Featuring Sansho Daiko, Vancouver Okinawa Taiko & Topham Tora Taiko

Saturday May 23 7:00pm
Topham Elementary School
21555  91st Avenue

$10 adults $8 students/seniors

Tickets and other info:


Katari Taiko’s 35th Anniversary Concert

Saturday, December 6
Doors 7pm / Show 7:30pm
Vancouver Playhouse
600 Hamilton St. @ Dunsmuir
Tickets $25 regular & $15 students/seniors. General Admission. Available online at

KT35_posterKatari Taiko, the first taiko group formed in Canada, is a constantly changing and intensely creative hybrid of Japanese and Canadian music. In celebration of its      35th Anniversary, Katari Taiko is presenting a special concert featuring its own contemporary and traditional music and that of guests, Chibi Taiko, Sansho Daiko, Sawagi Taiko and Vancouver Okinawa Taiko. All of the groups will join Katari Taiko in the premiere of a brand new collaborative work inspired by the return of the wild salmon to the Fraser River.

Katari Taiko has the distinction of being the first taiko drum group founded in Canada.  The group has developed a large and enthusiastic following since its inception in 1979, performing throughout Canada and the US, appearing in numerous festival and theatre settings.

Katari Taiko has built an extensive repertoire of both traditional and modern pieces, including original compositions. Their performances incorporate vocals, poetry and theatre. The synergy of the group, their joy and passion, together with the visceral experience of the drumming appeals to audiences of all ages and transcends cultural barriers.

Taiko music is rooted in the history of rural farming and fishing communities throughout Japan. Katari Taiko combines the traditional rhythms and discipline of the drums with the power of choreographed and improvisational movement.  Over the past three and a half decades, Katari Taiko has undergone many changes, but has always remained committed to bringing Japanese and Japanese-Canadian culture to the broader community; supporting grassroots initiatives and progressive causes; and balancing tradition with innovation.

New video – Britannia Mine Museum

Cheryl just finished this lovely video montage made up of footage from our gig last March at Britannia Mine Museum near Squamish, BC. It was cold but the atmosphere was amazing. We played two half-hour sets then had a tour of the mines. Tres cool!

Still photos and videos were taken by our friends  Jimmy Hsieh, Janice Huang, Tony Lee & Frances Lin. Live audio recording by Elaine Ginn.


New rehearsal space!

It’s definitely been a year of change and progress for our group. After years of sharing a space with a number of other groups on Francis Street we have struck out on our own. We are renting a space on Prior Street, just off the Georgia Viaduct. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and best of all, we can store our brand new drums there, along with our 5,ooo pounds of percussion. We are building storage for our equipment, and preparing to move in.


Tom’s drawings for our taiko storage.


Sansho Palace

New stands, new cases!

In true Sansho spirit we now have cases and stands for our new drums. Tom made the stands with Curtis’s help and a few of us made our new cases on the shoestring budget out of packing blankets. Total budget per case? About 15 dollars. Not bad!



New Drums!

Our beautiful new drums are here! Four chu-daiko and one hiradaiko, all made by Toshi Katao of Kato Taiko in Concord, California, just outside San Fancisco. Here they are, fresh off the boat. Or truck . . . Now we have to make stands and cases for them all. We’re really excited to have our own set of drums – it’s a dream we’ve had since we formed Sansho several years ago. We look forward to playing them for you in the near future!

John and Cheryl each have a Kato okedo as well, so we are well-equipped to conquer the world!



This is a photo of Kato-san from his website.


Sansho has video!

Thanks to Cheryl and Elaine, we now have a five-minute promo video. It's pretty awesome! Check it out on our video page.

We've also posted the video from the 2011 Kyokushin Karate Vancouver Cup tournament. It's not a Sansho video as such but we are featured heavily in it, performing our debut of Sansho Matsuri.

Kyokushin Karate Gig

Sansho Taiko will once again be performing at the opening of the Vancouver Cup 2011, presented by our friends at Kyokushin Karate.

The tournament takes place Sunday December 4 at the BCIT campus in Burnaby.

Event details HERE.

We are excited to be working on a new piece, Matsuri Reloaded, that we will debut at the opening. It’s making us dizzy but should be fun!!

Here’s a video from last year’s tournament: