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Watsonville Taiko is grateful for the ongoing community support including
funding from the Arts Council Santa Cruz
Spring is here, and Spring means taiko time! Yes, Watsonville Taiko and Shinsei Daiko have been busy this month, and the classes, performances, and special events just keep on coming.  If you missed us at Hara Matsuri or Hana Matsuri this month, join us next Saturday at Cupertino's Cherry Blossom Festival.  For a preview of the weekend's fun, here is a YouTube film from last year's event.

On top of that, it is fundraising time with a couple of big projects in the works. Read below about our performances, class opportunities,  and ways you can help support our mission, fostering the evolving cultural expression and traditions of taiko drumming through performances and public education.

Domo arigato,

Joyce Smith, editor
Support the Human Race!
We walk so that we may drum.

On May 9th many of the members and supporters of Watsonville Taiko will be walking along West Cliff Drive as part of the Human Race Santa Cruz We are asking for you, the supporters and fans of Watsonville Taiko, to support us by making a pledge, either online or by writing a check to the Volunteer Center of SC and mailing it to Watsonville Taiko (or delivering it to a drummer).  75% of the funds we raise will be used to support our ongoing programs and to help fund next year's 25th anniversary celebration.  The other 25% supports the great work of the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County. Please take a moment to make a pledge today.

The Human Race is a nationwide community fundraising event for nonprofit organizations and is the largest collaborative fundraising event in Santa Cruz County as well as the longest consecutive running Human Race in the nation!

The Santa Cruz County Race features an approximate 5 mile run and walk from 2300 Delaware Ave and down to West Cliff Drive to the Light House Park and back. Come join us for the walk, and thanks for your support!
Upcoming Kids' Workshops
Ages 7 to 11
Spring Workshop
2 spots left!
5 Sundays $55
Dates: May 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
Time: 12 noon - 1 pm
Location: GreyBears
2710 Chanticleer, Santa Cruz
Pre-registration required
Please contact instructor
Bonnie Chihara
Summer Workshop
6 Sundays $65
Dates: June 21, 28, July 5, 12, 19 & August 2 (no class 7/26)
Time: 12 noon - 1 pm
Location: GreyBears
2710 Chanticleer, Santa Cruz
Pre-registration required
Please contact instructor
Naoko Yamamoto
Drumming and Running
   by Joyce Smith
For me, some of our most fun events are when we drum for runners or at Open Street days. Both of these types of events can make for long days out in the sun, but they are great fun and more casual than our stage performances. Plus, where else can we perform for thousands of people in one day?

This year we will drum for the runners at the Big Sur Marathon, the Wharf to Wharf, and the Big Sur Half Marathon. We will also be joining Watsonville for their first ever Open Streeets !

Next Saturday, after returning from Cupertino's Cherry Blossom Festival, we will put away our formal stage outfits, hachimakis, and tabis and  and pack up our Watsonville Taiko t-shirts, martial arts pants, black shoes, and Watsonville taiko sweatshirts. Ah, don't forget a warm ski hat. Why?  Because very early Sunday morning we will begin the trek to Big Sur.   It is cold down there when the day first begins! We'll make food to share with our fellow drummers, and try to get to bed by 9:00 because we will be up and on the road very very early.
  • 4:00 am - drummers from Santa Cruz, Aptos and surrounding towns will get into our cars and head down to Rio Del Mar for our first carpool meet-up. 
  • 4:15 am - After gathering drums, food, and drummers into a smaller number of cars, we will start south to Carmel where we will meet up with drummers from our sister organization, Shinsho - Mugen Daiko at the shopping center.
  • 5:15 am - More shifting of drums and drummers (not to mention food). Making sure all cars continuing south have passes to get by the check-point is a must!  
  • 5:45 am - Off we go south to our drumming point on the route, just south of Hurricane Ridge and 16 miles south of the finish line. The race begins at 6:45, and we have need to be in place and ready to drum when the elite racers arrive after running the first 10 miles of the race.
  • 7:15 am - We have been drumming for a while to warm up, taking sips of coffee or hot chocolate, wondering when the fog will burn off.  Our spot is beautiful, the lowest elevation on the race course, and right across from a beautiful, but private, cove. Police motorcycles have been driving along the route, ensuring that everything is clear and ready for the runners. Soon we will see the press cars and then, the elite runners! we begin drumming Yashiro, a song with a deep beat that matches the heartbeat and stride of a runner very well.
  • 8:00 - The top runners have passed a while ago, and now it is getting fun! The sun is starting to peek out through the fog and the beautiful Big Sur views surround us. Hundreds and hundreds of runners stream by, thanking us, taking pictures, posing for a quick picture before tackling the 2-mile uphill climb ahead of them. We'll be drumming for these guys for a few more hours.
  • 11:15-  By now the runners have passed and Ikuyo sensei has had us practicing a few pieces for a while. But we will be enjoying the scenery, companionship for fellow drummers, and great food for another hour and 1/2 before the roads are open and we can head back home. We set up tables for food, and lawn chairs are scattered throughout the parking area. Food and smiles are everywhere.  It has been another good day.  Drumming and running, a great combination!
Last Weekend in Morgan Hill...

Haru Matsuri Festival - youth drummers
Haru Matsuri Festival
The youthful drummers from Watsonville Taiko joined with their fellow drummers from Morgan Hill for a rousing performance last weekend.
Taiko Festival!
Ishizue at Morgan Hill's Haru Matsuri April 2015
Ishizue at Morgan Hill's Haru Matsuri April 2015
Community performers from Watsonville Taiko and Monterey's Shinsho-Mugen Daiko drummed as one Sunday .
Haru Matsuri Festival, 2015
Haru Matsuri Festival
Watsonville Taiko and
Shinsho-Mugen Daiko teamed up for this rousing performance in Morgan Hill. Thanks to Sue Walter for filming Sunday.  There will be more photos and videos up on Facebook later this week.
The Japanese Cultural Fair

Save the date! 

June 6th
29th Anniversary
Mission Plaza, Santa Cruz 
Taiko, music, dance 
Arts & crafts 
Watsonville Taiko's BBQ!!!