“You don’t just listen to this music. You see it and feel it, too. Totally compelling.” – Sydney Morning Herald

Formed in 1997 by Ian Cleworth and Riley Lee, Taikoz perform on the stages of Australia's finest concert halls, as well in prestigious venues worldwide including in Japan, France, Thailand, Taiwan, UAE, New Zealand and America. In 2016, Taikoz toured India with Lingalayam Dance Company, receiving rave reviews for their collaborative work Chi Udaka. The group also regularly appears in the theatres of regional Australia, having undertaken eight Australia-wide tours.

Distinguished composers Michael Askill, Gerard Brophy, Timothy Constable, Sandy Evans, Graeme Koehne, Karlin Love, Andrea Molino, David Pye and Lachlan Skipworth have all composed works for the ensemble. Major collaborations with a diverse range of artists include John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, taiko greats Eitetsu Hayashi, Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Yoko Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Kenny Endo and Kaoru Watanabe, as well as distinguished choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli. In 2012, Taikoz collaborated with KODO on a nation-wide tour of Australia. The group has also appeared in concerto works with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Dresden Sinfoniker in Europe. In 2018, Taikoz, Riley Lee and Kaoru Watanabe were featured soloists with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, performing their own works in arrangements for the ensemble and orchestra, culminating in a newly commissioned work by Lachlan Skipworth called The Breath Of Thunder.

Side by Side

Thunderous taiko meets soulful flute, sonorous handpan, dynamic movement - enveloped in colourful light-sculptures

Side By Side features the emerging compositional voices of Taikoz players Ian Cleworth, Kerryn Joyce, Sophia Ang, Ryuji Hamada and Claudia Wherry, and at its heart, the program is truly a celebration of the remarkable creativity that resides within the ensemble. Sitting side by side their pieces (pun intended!) is the winning composition of Taikoz's 2020 Women Composers Competition – Tasmania-based Karlin Love’s Fierce: The Vengeance Of Joy. We’re thrilled to have non-taiko playing composers create new works for us, and Karlin’s Fierce is the latest in a long line of new works composed especially for our ensemble’s unique forces.

When you read what each composer says about her or his inspiration and thought processes, it’ll come as no surprise that much the music is a direct response to the worldwide pandemic of 2020-21. How could it not? With roots in the insecurities and anxieties of our shared experiences of Covid-19, their music consequently evokes images and feelings of the natural world and a wide gamut of emotions that range through darkness (Shadow Games), longing (Flowing Water) fear vs freedom (Run!), nostalgia and joy (Yasaka), and expectation, growth and new life (Cocoon).


Sophia ANG Shadow Games 

Ryuji HAMADA & Kerryn JOYCE Flowing Water

Karlin LOVE Fierce: The Vengeance of Joy

Kerryn JOYCE Run!

Ryuji HAMADA Yasaka

Ian CLEWORTH Awakening

Claudia WHERRY Cocoon


95 minutes without interval

Taikoz is always keen to engage with local communities and is comfortable in both the masterclass and communityworkshop settings.

With the above info in mind, where appropriate, we can travel to community halls, gymnasiums etc to give community workshops. The only proviso is that consideration be given to the schedule; i.e. it is preferable if workshops are presented either the day before the mainstage concert or the day after (as the Side by Side production requires a full-day bump-in/tech before performance). We have found that presenting a workshop before a mainstage concert helps in driving ticket sales!

(The masterclass can be presented off-site with participants performing on their own instruments)

February 6-March 19
May 1-14
June 26-August 27
November 6-26

Book an artist

Travel to centres in regional NSW is subsidised through the support of Create NSW. Musica Viva can book the artists, arrange all travel and accommodation, provide posters, flyers and program information.
If you are interested in bringing an ensemble to your town or city, please contact:

Sean Moloney

Manager, Special Projects & Regional Touring


02 8394 6662