3 Mini-Intensives!

NEW! (As of 11/11) - A La Carte Workshop Options

DONference mini-intensive format workshops are now open for a la carte registration! To secure your spot, please click on the button below, choose a day and which workshop you'd like to participate in, and process payment. Act fast as spots are limited and are first-come first-serve!

Price: $100

The Mini-Intensive Format!

You will receive 4 hours of instruction from each of our three workshop leaders

(Eien, Kris+Minh, and Tiffany) throughout the 3 days.

Dates: 12/14 - 12/16

Price: $240

Sample Schedule

There is a possibility that one of the Mini-Intensives will be two separate-topic workshops.
Please note that ATUS will not provide lunch during [Lunch Break] as meals are not included in Registration Fee.
Please plan your lunch breaks accordingly, or consult with ATUS staff with any questions!

Eien Hunter-ishikawa


Playing with Groove, Pulse, and Rhythm

This class is all about developing our musicianship. We will cover small-drum fundamentals such as getting a nice sound, ji playing, 5 levels of dynamics, and 3 types of accompaniment. The material will mainly focus on how to internalize the pulse and boost our sense of nori (feel, groove) as we play music on the taiko. For example, we will play along to pop songs and drum machine beats to practice rhythmic accuracy as well as use kuchishoga (vocalizing patterns) to bring life to the music. Metronome games will challenge our timing skills. Musical interactions will check our listening and flexibility. By the end of the workshop, you will have many ideas for your own practicing along with concepts for your ensemble to sound tighter. Please bring smaller bachi for playing on shime daiko and okedo daiko.


Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician, educator, and composer specializing in taiko, shinobue, and percussion. Recognized for his musicianship and versatility, he integrates a background in jazz, Western percussion, and traditional Japanese music to create an original and distinctive approach to teaching and performance. Eien has collaborated with many pioneers of innovative music including the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Kenny Endo, On Ensemble, John Kaizan Neptune, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, Colleen Lanki, TaikoArts Midwest, Naomi Sato, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Zenshin Daiko, Ho Etsu Taiko, Makoto Taiko, and Enso Daiko. After receiving early training from Saburo Mochizuki of the renowned Tokyo ensemble Sukeroku Daiko, Eien earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University and his Master of Music Performance at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a passionate advocate of Edo Bayashi and Edo Kotobuki Jishi (the traditional festival music and lion dance of Tokyo) and continues his in-depth study under Wakayama Shachu’s Kyosuke Suzuki through kind support from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten and Asano Taiko US. Eien is an in-demand instructor and frequently presents workshops to various groups around the country. His website’s many articles, instructional videos, and online lessons are utilized by students worldwide. When not on the road, Eien makes beer, bread, natto, kimchi, miso, hot sauce, and other culinary pursuits at his home in Portland, Oregon. Recipes are featured on his blog, along with musician interviews and other eccentricities.



Naname Movement Essentials: Technique and Emotion

Naname (slant-style taiko) continues to inspire me! There are so many ways to make beautiful things... we can play with power or grace, we can feature fun sounds and fast rhythm, or show development with choreography. In the last five years or so, I've come to think of these possibilities as "neighborhoods", where I can walk down a street using a technique like "right arm swings" until I reach the "X-pattern neighborhood" and play there. And in the same way I can run, or saunter, or strut down the street, I want my drumming to have varied, colorful expression.

These workshops present my current thoughts on all-things-naname, with representative phrases from some of the "neighborhoods". As always, we'll be rocking out to hip-hop and electronic-inspired backing tracks. No naname experience required. Just bachi, earplugs, and interest! Minh and I are so excited about this first in-person workshop in almost two years!!


Arugakki is the Los Angeles-based, experimental music and dance duo formed of taiko player, Kristofer Bergstrom, and dancer, Minh Nguyen.



Odaiko Challenge!

I absolutely believe I can make you a better odaiko player, regardless of your current skill level.

This intensive workshop series will cover all the aspects of odaiko I've spent over 30 years studying and refining. We'll be covering several different approaches and techniques, exploring what it means to have a truly grounded and dynamic stance, refining kata and striking techniques to insure you're getting the power and sound you want to create as you play, deep-diving into "ma" - the critical space between the beats, considering different aspects of spirit and character and how they apply to practice and performance, and having some fun with improvisation and composition.

You'll receive useful individual feedback, learn practical tips that are easy to integrate into almost every style, be challenged, and have some fun playing odaiko Tiffany's TaikoBaka way!


Tiffany Tamaribuchi's first experiences of taiko were through live Min'yō Fukushima Ondo performances at local O-bon festivals, watching regional taiko groups whenever they performed in Sacramento, and then as a high school exchange student in Matsuyama where she was introduced to Iyonokuni Suigun Daiko. She then trained extensively under Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, and went on to create Jodaiko (international women's taiko ensemble) and Sacramento Taiko Dan while also starting college.

She has continuously trained and performed with a number of prominent artists throughout North America and Japan since 1990, most notably as a performing member of San Francisco Taiko Dojo and then with Za Ondekoza from 1993-1996, Okinawa-based Zampa Ufujishi Taiko and the Eisadantai Mafuekaji from 1996-1998, and with New York based Taikoza starting in 1999. More recently she has joined the Hanayui Ensemble of Kodo and Shidara on their U.S. tours, and toured as a collaborative and solo artist.

With her in-depth understanding of taiko fundamentals, exceptional skill sharing techniques, a penchant for composing fun-to-play pieces, and easy-going demeanor, she quickly rose to prominence as a popular instructor and workshop facilitator. She presents on a variety of topics at national and regional conferences and other events. She also produces her own (TaikoBaka) intensive programs and training tours, and travels extensively to work with a number of artists and groups in the U.S., E.U., Canada, Asia, and Australia. A significant focus of this work has been to develop techniques that help players prevent injuries and play with more ease, better control and timing, and good powerful sound.

Though she is adept at many different traditionally-based styles and techniques, she is most notably recognized as an Odaiko performer, given many years as a soloist in San Francisco Taiko Dojo's signature "Tsunami" piece, and after competing as a finalist in the first Tokyo International Ippon-uchi Odaiko competition and winning the 2002 OTA-I-KO Hibike All-Japan Odaiko competition in Ota, Fukui the same year. Spending time and training with a number of artists who first originated this style of wadaiko performance, and with over 30 years experience performing and developing her own style, she is confident in her ability to help students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to improve their training and performance techniques toward helping them develop their own style, spirit, and character.