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All of the latest news from Grass Valley Taiko! Use the form at the right to subscribe and stay up to date on what we’re up to!

Grass Valley Taiko to Perform at the 2019 Nevada County Fair

Grass Valley Taiko is once again performing at the Nevada County Fair. We’re even featured in the fair’s summary video of 2018! Check it out below:

The Nevada County Fair is always our favorite performance of the year. We love performing for all of our friends and family – the energy is the best at the fair. We hope that you’ll come out on the first day of the fair, grab something to eat on treat street and then enjoy some great Taiko drumming while you enjoy your meal! We’ll be playing all of our favorite songs, and our beginning Taiko group is growing as we’ve got a bunch of talented newbies. Come out and support them on stage along with our performing group.

Know and Go:

What: Grass Valley Taiko at the Nevada County Fair!

When: Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Time: Noon and 1:30 PM

Where: Pine Tree Stage (right by Treat Street)

Don’t forget: if you’d like to experience Taiko first hand, then come check out our beginners class on Thursday nights, starting at 5:30 PM.

Have you been waiting to try taiko?

Share the love with Taiko!

Join the Second Annual Grass Valley Love Walk events with a little a taiko! This workshop is a perfect way to experience taiko for the first time. Come on, you’ve got the day off, come join us for some fun and exercise.


Participate in a hands-on demonstration with Grass Valley Taiko to experience an introduction to Traditional Japanese Style Drumming. Led by Founder and Director Mitzi Garnett and a group of senior members.  20- 50 participants depending on the size area we find.  www.grassvalleytaiko.comDonations appreciated

Location: at United Methodists Church, 236 S. Church St, 2nd Floor. 
Date: Monday, January 21, 2019
Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Reserve your spot

Grass Valley Taiko returns to the stage at Worldfest 2018

Photo credit Hannah Oitzman

Grass Valley Taiko is excited to announce that we are playing at the California Worldfest again this year! We are super excited to be back on stage for the awesome crowd at Worldfest. It’s going to be an early timeslot, but we’ll be rocking the stage and shaking everyone from their sleeping bags. If you’re going to Worldfest, be sure to set your alarm and catch us on Saturday morning. Unfortunately there won’t be a workshop this year, but beginners are welcome to join us on any Thursday at our beginner class!

Photo credit Hannah Oitzman

Get your tickets now at http://worldfest.net/

Hope to see you there:

What: Grass Valley Taiko at California Worldfest

When: Saturday, July 14

Time: 9:30 AM

Where: Nevada Country Fairgrounds. Sierra Stage

Photo credit Hannah Oitzman

Catch Grass Valley Taiko at the 2017 Nevada County Fair

We will be performing at the 2017 Nevada County Fair next month. We love having our friends and family in the audience, so plan ahead and be sure to join us for this performance. We’ll be performing on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 on the Pine Creek Stage (near Treat Street). There will be two performances: 10:00 AM and 11:15 AM.

Grass Valley Taiko on stage

What: 2017 Nevada County Fair

Where: Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, CA

Stage: Pine Creek stage (near treat street)

When: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM and 11:15 AM

Grass Valley Taiko on stage

Grass Valley Taiko at WorldFest

wworldfestCalifornia WorldFest 2016 is happening this weekend! The Festival takes place July 14-17, 2016 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. Grass Valley Taiko will be there, will you? See our performance and workshop schedule below and visit California WorldFest for more info about the Festival.

Friday, July 15, 10:30am on the Discovery Stage
Sunday, July 17, 9:00am on the Global Village Stage
Friday, July 15, 2:00pm at Ponderosa
Saturday, July 16, 5pm at Ponderosa

See you there!

Drum reskinning project starts


First of all, we want to thank everyone who contributed to our recent crowdsourcing campaign to raise money to reskin several of our drums ahead of the upcoming California Worldfest performance next month. We are busy rehearsing for this event and at the same time we’ve started to reskin several of our drums. We’ve used the funds from the campaign to purchase all of the necessary materials to reskin the drumheads which are in the worst condition. All of the drums in our group are handmade, and many are over 10 years old. Playing on them for over a decade has taken its toll on many of the drumheads, resulting in either damage such as holes in the head, or simply a “dead head” (poor sound quality). We want to go on stage at WorldFest with the biggest “thunder” possible.

Drum skin soaks in water before start of reskinning process.

The reskinning process takes a lot of time and energy over several days to complete for each drum head. This process includes multiple soakings of the raw cowhide which is used for a taiko drum head. Following Mitzi Sensei’s experience and guidance, we employ a combination of traditional Japanese process along with the use of (some) modern tools to complete the process. The use of modern tools helps to accelerate the process and produce a more consistent result.

The skinning process takes many hands.

A taiko member tightens ropes during forming process.

Holes for the tacks are marked with a template to ensure straight and even alignment.

Every member of the group is contributing to the reskinning process and having more hands helps to make the process go faster. We also believe that everyone involved in the process contributes their spirit to the completed drum. So thank you to everyone who contributed.

Mitzi Sensei puts the first tack into our first completed drum of 2016!

There is still time to help us. If you would like to donate, please use the donate button below to contribute to our drum reskinning project, and we hope to see your smiling face in the audience at WorldFest!

GVT on Front Page of The Union!

Wow! We made the front page of The Union, Nevada County’s local newspaper! Learn more about Grass Valley Taiko and Sensei Mitzi Garnett’s path to get here, including interviews with Mitzi and a couple of other GVT members. Thank you to The Union newspaper and journalist Emily Lavin!

Grass Valley Taiko asks for community’s help to repair drums

Mitzi Garnett, the founder of Grass Valley Taiko, performs with the group at a community event. The group is slated to perform at California WorldFest in July, and is fundraising to help repair some of its most-worn drums.

Mitzi Garnett would hear the beat thumping through her windows every Thursday evening — bum-bum-bumbum-bum-bum.

Garnett, then in her 20s, was serving in the U.S. Marines and living in an apartment in Okinawa, Japan.

“What in the world is that?” she remembers thinking.

One day, she decided to find out. She laced up her running shoes, and took off through the streets of Okinawa, following the noise. read more…

Kodo Arts Warehouse 10th Anniversary

spring+16+showOn Saturday, May 7th, Grass Valley Taiko will help the Kodo Arts Warehouse celebrate its 10th Anniversary in Nevada City with a parking lot performance at 2 pm. We last performed there in 2011 in support of relief efforts for the victims of Japan’s 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Jake and Yuko are wonderful hosts and we are excited to be there again!  Come help us celebrate and while you’re there, check out the great collection of Japanese Antiques on sale!

WorldFest Drum Head Campaign

In light of our upcoming California WorldFest debut, we are raising funds to replace the heads on several of our drums. We want to leave our impression at the WorldFest stage with the deepest thundering sound possible and that’s where we need your help.

Join our Campaign


We build all of our large performing drums out of recycled wine barrels. The process in making a Taiko drum takes several months and involves many hands. It’s a process of labor and love that we feel embodies the spirit of those who help contribute to the making of the drum.

Unfortunately many of our drumheads are beginning to show the wear and tear of having been played over the last 16 years. It costs about $250 to replace a Taiko drumhead, and we need to replace 14 drumheads in our inventory of performing drums.

We would love to have you in the audience at the California Worldfest, supporting us and knowing that you have helped make this performance the best that we can offer. Therefore we are offering you the opportunity to join us by contributing to this crowdfunding campaign.


If you enjoy our music and the Taiko artform, why not contribute $250 to help us replace a drumhead?

In exchange, we’ll give you a 4-day adult pass to the event (value: $190), along with a Grass Valley Taiko t-shirt to wear at the event, this year’s tenugui** and we’ll engrave your name* on the drumskin so that you can be with us in spirit on stage.

If $250 is too much for your budget, we have other contribution levels and rewards or we’ll take any monetary contribution you’re able to make and help support us in this fundraising effort. We’ll take all the love you can give us…

Join our Campaign


The California Worldfest event is only 3 months away. Rehearsals have started already and we need to work the reskinning project into our busy schedules. We are going to have some busy weekends ahead in order to get the drums in shape for the event. If you are going to contribute, please do it early, so that we can get started on the reskinning project.

Join our Campaign