Interview with Kenny Endo, Honolulu, Hawaii

Kenny Endo is a vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming. A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms from around the world into original melodies and improvisation. Originally trained as a jazz musician in the Asian American cultural renaissance of 1970s California, in 1980, Endo embarked on a decade-long odyssey in his ancestral Japan, studying and performing with the masters of classical drumming, traditional Tokyo festival music, and ensemble drumming. In the greater musical world, “Kenny Endo” has become synonymous with “taiko.” He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the classical Japanese style and his own neo-traditional, globally-inspired variety. Endo has performed to critical acclaim with numerous musicians, comfortable collaborating with artists of all genres. He continues to tread new ground for this ancient instrument, inspiring all with his creativity, technique, and infectious groove; has recorded numerous CDs of original taiko compositions; and has traveled across Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, the former Soviet Union, Australia, and the Americas in his effort to share taiko with the world.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/22/2020.

Interview with Daniel Ho, Los Angeles, California/Honolulu, Hawaii

Daniel Ho is an ‘ukulele virtuoso, slack key guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer, and record company owner. Daniel’s collaborations transcend genres, from Hawaiian regional roots to world music with Mongolian nomads, to duets with Pepe Romero, the maestro of classical guitar, to jazz and rock with Tak Matsumoto of the Japanese supergroup, B’z. Daniel is a six-time GRAMMY Award winner, eleven-time GRAMMY Award nominee, six-time Taiwanese Golden Melody Award winner, and recipient of multiple Hawaiian Music awards. Always on the move, Daniel is an American cultural ambassador, with tours completed to Japan, Thailand, Brunei, and Australia. In infinite pursuit of new musical adventures, he is also the designer of the Romero Creations Tiny Tenor ‘ukulele, Ohana Bongolele, and Shakerlele. His custom-designed six-string ‘ukulele is on exhibit at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/24/2020.

Interview with Reggie Padilla, Honolulu, Hawaii

Saxophonist, pianist, composer, and educator Reggie Padilla was born and raised in Long Island, NY. He began his musical journey at the age of seven on the piano, and by nine, began studying the saxophone as well. While studying classical piano, Reggie was also exposed to a wide variety of music. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Classical Piano Performance from Long Island University at C.W. Post, and a master’s degree in Music Education from New York University. In January 2007, Reginald relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii, and continued his musical journey. Reggie continues to perform and record around the world on both tenor saxophone and piano. He has a private lesson studio, teaching both saxophone, piano, classical, jazz, theory, and improvisation.
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 09/14/2020.