Grass Valley Taiko was established in 2000 by Founder and Artistic Director Mitzi Garnett from a basic one-time workshop that grew into the multiple classes of varied levels that exist now. Mitzi was instrumental in bringing several taiko performances to Grass Valley/Nevada City that has featured Taiko groups from all over California and a vast variety of drummers of many genres. Grass Valley Taiko hosted Taiko Festival 2005 which celebrated two sold-out shows, annual Taiko Festivals each year since, an annual production that gives 100% of the income to a notable cause, and Taiko Camps 2006, 2008 and 2010 that drew participants from around the world to train with the Masters of North American Taiko.
Mitzi has since returned to Grand Master Tanaka for training and the honors to play Hiryu Sandan Gaishi/Isami Goma and Hachijo, in addition to her training with world renowned Kodo at Sado Island, Japan. Our members now number 50 strong and we seek to attain a greater level of understanding and skill in Taiko and the practice of wadaiko – they way of Taiko.
“Drumming is a core part of all of us, it starts in the womb. We all have our own rhythm. With Taiko, you commit to a path, dedicate to a training, drum to a beat with many hearts; not all who possess a drum can honestly call themselves “Taiko”, but we can all call ourselves drummers. Taiko is so much more. We are practitioners. We are performers. We are dedicated to our tradition and breathe our life into our art form.”
Mitzi Garnett started Taiko with San Francisco Taiko Dojo under the instruction of Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka in 1995. In 2000 she moved to Grass Valley and founded Grass Valley Taiko where she stands as the Artistic Director and Instructor. Mitzi was instrumental in bringing annual Taiko performances to Grass Valley/Nevada City since 2003, Taiko Camp 2006, 2008, and 2010 and has co-produced several benefits for worthy causes over the past fourteen years. She continues to train with Grand Master Tanaka and has received the honors to play world acclaimed Hiryu Sandan Gaishi/Isami Goma and Hachijo Daiko from Asanuma Sensei, Taiko Master of Hachijo Island. In November 2012 Grass Valley Taiko was invited to participate in San Francisco Taiko Dojo’s annual International Taiko Fstival at the Yerba Buena Center. Grass Valley Taiko will celebrate its eighth year in a row performing at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, San Francisco, CA.