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Upcoming Performances
  • Saturday, June 6, 11 - 6: Japanese Cultural Fair 
  • Saturday, June 27: JACL Community Picnic, Aptos Village Park
  • Saturday, June 27, 1 - 3 pm: Land of the Medicine Buddha
  • Saturday, July 4, 7:30 pm: New Brighton State Beach campground
  • Saturday, July 18, 1-2 PM: Relay for Life, Watsonville
  • Sunday, July 19, 3 - 6 PM: Watsonville Obon Festival, Buddhist Temple
  • Sunday, July 26, AM: Wharf to Wharf, Santa Cruz to Capitola
  • Sunday, July 26, 3 PM: Festival of Books, Harvey West Park, SC
  • For the full calendar, click here
Stay Connected!
Watsonville Taiko is grateful for the ongoing community support including
funding from the Arts Council Santa Cruz
It's summer in the Monterey Bay Area which often means June gloom in the morning giving way to sun in the afternoon. It also means Watsonville Taiko is very, very busy! Our spring season ends and the summer begins with the Japanese Cultural Fair on June 6th, one of the best free events in the area! Our summer is book-ended with the Church Street Fair in August.  In between you can see us almost every weekend, sometimes twice in the same day at different venues.

Take a look at our full calendar, reserve a weekend or two to join us while experiencing the many wonderful cultural events that the area has to offer. Or, if you or your child has always wanted to try taiko drumming, this summer might be the perfect time. New blasses and workshops for all ages will be starting soon.


Joyce Smith, editor
Thank You So Much!
On May 9th we had an amazing walk down Westcliff Drive with hundreds of others walking to raise funds for local nonprofit organizations.  You support far exceeded our expectations! Although we will not know the final tally until the end of May, we want to take a moment to thank our donors.  Please excuse any omission.  There are so many of you!!!

In no particular order, thanks to James Stanfill, Wilma Field, Barbara Winston, Rouchanne Kountz, Sue Walter, California Radiographics, Inc., Kathie Brown, Carol and Rick Spanel, Jenny Wishnack, Terri Basile, Yolanda Perez, Melinda Shaughnessy, Peggy Galusha, Aaron Stoetzel, Pam McTighe, Michelle Shelton, Cheryl Teramoto, Myrt Hawkins, Bonnie Chihara, MaryAnne Green, Cat Steele, Cheryl VanDeVeer, Kirsten Clarke, Eric Gross, Ron Indra, Amy Glasgow, Mary-Ann Smith, Evan Smith, Austin Smith, Andy & Jackie Smith, Gayle Saxton, Joyce Smith, Shannon Greene, Susan Doucette, Sarah Rabkin, Jane Fleet, Wicki VanDeVeer, Kim Beecher, Dave Smith, Jolene Kemos, Simona Prochazka, Hillery Tripe, Michelle Bakarich, Lorraine Sandoval-Vigil, Nise Louie, Anne Cappiello, Lorraine Cahn, Paul and Carol Kaneko, Velma Groppi, Debra Gilchrist, Linda Brown, Bryan Burkhart, Carl Christensen, Kate Leverett, Naoko Yamamoto, Denise, Geordie Wright, Ruth Salisbury, Jimmy Foulds, Peter and Nancy, Jimmy, Erykah & Jimmy Jr Green,  JoAnn Amberg,   Mary Crawford, Mehda & Chandra Gelli, Mary Arman, Paula D'Andrae, Joyce Anue, Donna Cavarallo, Pam Vellutini, Nicole Tsao, Juanita Smith, Madeline Thompson, Lisa Uttal, Christine Bowes, Jock O'Neill, Eileen Hamada, Bowen lee, Linae Ishii-Devine, Denise Hasegawa, Anne Muraski, Kristen Yamamoto, Elice Horton, Margaret Chan, Taeko D'Andrae, Ikuyo Conant, Gail Lack, Julie Anongos, Linda Franzen, Sally Eastham, Eiko Kraymak, Loreen Ozaki, Becky Singhai, Becky Armor, Sharon Parker, Sandy Allen, Gwen and Rod Koda, Jan Valloton, Bryan Mori, Jill Petkers, Jane Walton, and many, many anonymous donors.

How wonderful you all make us feel!
The Japanese Cultural Fair
Mark your calendars: June 6 is the 29th annual Japanese Cultural Fair, held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mission Plaza Park in Santa Cruz. The fair provides an opportunity for the  community to increase its awareness and understanding of Japanese culture, both traditional and contemporary.

Traditional Japanese music - from the stringed koto to the shakuhachi (Japanese flute), along with performances by both the Watsonville Taiko (at 11:15 am) and the San Francisco Taiko Dojo (at 5 pm)- will be presented at the fair. Aikido, karate and kyudo (Japanese archery) will also be demonstrated at the Aikido of Santa Cruz, near the fair. Other demonstrations include a Bonsai demonstration, Ikebana (flower arranging),  a kimono workshop and a tea ceremony. Various booths will have Japanese related items.

Hungry?  No problem! We will be cooking all day and will have yakitori, curry, and Bonnie's famous fried mochi available for sale!

A schedule of events, as well as periodic updates, can be found at For more information, visit the JCF site at

Special Summer Workshops
Santa Cruz Area

Adult Workshop
6 weeks
Dates: July/August
Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Details still being finalized at press time
Pre-registration required
If interested, please contact instructor
Taeko D'Andrae
Kids' Workshop
Ages 7 - 11
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
News from the Dojo

Our New Odaiko
The San Benito JACL has offered Watsonville Taiko the use of their Odaiko! Originally received as a gift from Hollister's Sister City of Takino, it now will be used by our youth drummers.  Thanks so much to Kurt Kurashiki and the San Benito JACL for loaning it to us. To learn more about Takino, click here. 

Drumming With Santa Cruz Ballet Theater in Sacramento
Advanced drummers in Sacramento
 Santa Cruz Ballet Theater's collaboration with Watsonville Taiko culminated with a performance at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium on May 13th. A very long day, but a very rewarding experience
Open Streets Watsonvillle
Open Streets Watsonvillle
Watsonville's first ever Open Streets was a hit, and we were part of it! We had great fun sharing taiko with community members on May 13th.  We would play a song or two and then invite people to learn a song.  Kids, teens, dads, and grandmothers all joined in the fun! We'll see you at Santa Cruz' Open Streets in October.