East L.A. Taiko: Live!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 4:00pm

This is a past event.

Queens Courtyard
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Admission is free.

To enter the USC campus, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination (either a physical CDC-issued vaccine card or a digital copy available from the State of California here). As an alternative, guests may show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of accessing campus. Photo ID required. All persons accessing campus must also complete Trojan Check, USC’s daily wellness assessment, on the day of their visit. Medical grade masks (surgical masks, N95, KN95, or KF94) are required for all visitors in indoor locations. While not required outdoors, we encourage attendees to wear masks for their own protection and the protection of others.

Join us for this very special outdoor performance featuring the thunderous sound of taiko drums. With roots in Japanese mythology, taiko drums have been used for communication, for religious ceremony, and, most recently, as an expression of social movements for marginalized people in and outside Japan. Led by Maceo Hernandez and Fredo Ortiz, East L.A. Taiko infuse the raw, driving style with Latin roots, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and ska punk beats, creating an eclectic and fiery blend of music from around the world that both reflects and energizes the heart of Los Angeles.


Maceo Hernandez
has been performing taiko for 36 years and became the first professional Latino Taiko player at 15. After joining the world-renowned Taiko group Ondekoza, he lived and trained in Japan and performed in Asia, Europe, and at Carnegie Hall. In 1991, Hernandez created East L.A. Taiko, and in 1993 he was the subject of John Esaki’s award-winning documentary, Maceo Hernandez: Demon Drummer from East L.A. In addition to leading East L.A. Taiko, he is the director of the Taiko Center of Los Angeles and teaches taiko classes at the Terasaki Budokan in Little Tokyo.

Fredo Ortiz is a drummer and percussionist who started to beat on the drums in third grade. He has played in groups such as Los Villains 99, Yeska, the Beastie Boys, and Gogol Bordello; worked with artists including Kathleen Hanna, Money Mark, and Tommy Guerrero; and created a solo project, Bongoloidz. In addition to co-leading East L.A. Taiko, Ortiz is currently the drummer for East L.A. rock legends Los Lobos.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Co-sponsored by La CASA and Asian Pacific American Student Services.

Event Type

Arts, Music


Students, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus


music, SDAOther



School of Dramatic Arts, Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative
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