Leonard Eto is one of best innovative contemporary taiko players whose vision and creativeness molded the way taiko is performed and viewed in the world today. He was born in New York in 1963. In 1984 Leonard joined the Japanese taiko drum group Kodo and invested himself in researching, composing and playing taiko. In 1992, he left Kodo to pursue a solo career. In 1994, he won acclaim for his performance with such great artists as Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, The Chieftains, INXS, Ray Cooper, and Roger Taylor at "The Great Music Experience" at Todaiji, Japan.
He is an esteemed composer. His works have been featured in Hollywood film productions such as JFK, The Lion King, The Hunted and The Thin Red Line.
He has been producing and touring his own projects. His quest gradually developed from his collaborative activities to working on blending taiko and dance, taiko and Western drums and of taiko and digital sounds. He has also been touring with an all women ensemble of taiko players and tap dancers. 2013 finds him combining these works into a bigger production called Blendrums Theater.
Copyright photo © Wataru Furuta