Ian has been Artistic Director of Taikoz since its inception in 1997. In 2005 he became full-time with the group after having spent 20 years as Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony and 16 years with the percussion group Synergy.
At age 19, Ian began wadaiko study in Japan with Sen Amano of Yamanashi-ken and performed throughout the islands of Honshu and Shikoku with Amano’s ensemble, Arahan. Since then he has undertaken study and performance with taiko great, Eitetsu Hayashi, including an invitation to perform at the 2004 Tokyo Summer Festival as a guest of Eitetsu Fuun-no-Kai.
With the Sydney Symphony Ian played under such conducting greats as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons and Edo de Waart, and has performed in some of the world’s finest concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and London’s Royal Albert Hall. As a soloist with the Sydney Symphony, Ian premiered and recorded Ross Edwards’ Yarrageh: Nocturne for Percussion and Orchestra and with his Synergy colleagues, Toru Takemitsu’s From Me Flows What You Call Time.
During his years with Synergy, Ian was involved with the presentation of the latest works for percussion, including numerous premieres of Australian and international composers. With Synergy he toured Australia, the UK, France, Hungary, Sweden, Taiwan, Japan, Poland, Germany and Singapore and worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Fritz Hauser, Trilok Gurtu, Mike Nock, Hossam Ramzy, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Kazue Sawai, Palle Mikkelborg and Dave Samuels. Ian was Co-Artistic Director of Synergy Percussion from 2000 until 2003.
In 2007 Ian received the APRA-AMC Classical Music Award for Long-term Contribution For The Advancement Of Australian Music.
Riley began playing the shakuhachi flute in Japan in 1971 under the guidance of Ichizan Hoshida II, Chikuho Sakai II and Katsuya Yokoyama.
In the early 1970s he became the first ever non-Japanese professional taiko player, as an original member of Sado no Kuni Ondekoza. In 1980 he also became the first non-Japanese to attain Grand Master (dai shihan) rank in shakuhachi.
Riley taught at the University of Hawai'i for six years, and in 2007 started a shakuhachi program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He was a Research Fellow at Osaka University in 1988-89, and was a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University in 2006 and again in 2009, when he lectured in the Comparative Literature Department.
In 1997 Riley co-founded Taikoz with Ian Cleworth and is its Artistic Administrator. He was Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the 2008 World Shakuhachi Festival (Sydney). He performed in the by-invitation-only "Masters Concert" at the 2012 World Shakuhachi Festival (Kyoto).
Riley tours the world as a performer and teacher of the shakuhachi. This year, he is performing, teaching and recording in Australia, and in Kyoto, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Hawai'i, and at Princeton, Stanford and Sydney Universities.
Riley lives with Patricia in Manly NSW, Australia, and teaches privately in Sydney, Canberra and throughout the world via the Internet.
Graham joined Taikoz in 1998 and is also a freelance modern jazz drummer and percussionist.
After completing percussion studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music he founded the percussion ensemble B'tutta. He works regularly in schools in Australia and Asia, performing, demonstrating and composing for percussion instruments. Graham composes for both B'tutta and Taikoz; pieces include the popular Chi and Daichi that features his original katsugi okedo/chappa style.
Graham travelled to Japan in 2001 and studied under the guidance of Eitetsu Hayashi and performed with Taikoz in Kanazawa, Kobe and Manno. For much of 2005, Graham lived, studied and played in Japan where he had the opportunity to study under Wakayama-ryu leader and master of the O-Edobayashi style, Kyosuke Suzuki. An interest in the traditional Hachijo style of taiko playing took him to Hachijo Island for further study with Takashi Kikuchi.
Over the past few years, Graham has composed, designed and directed both live performance and film versions of his original work, "Shifting Sand". "Shifting Sand" toured Australia in 2012.
Masae was born in Kagawa, Shikoku, Japan. At age 5 she joined Marugame Daiko where she studied and performed many styles including O-Edo Sukeroku Daiko.
Kerryn joined Taikoz in 2001 and is regularly seen on stage as a taiko player, dancer, singer and shinobue player.
Kerryn's highlights include collaborations with such esteemed artists as Kodo, Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard in "Kaidan: A Ghost Story", John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company's production of "Pericles", and performing at Japan's National Theatre as part of Eitetsu Hayashi's 25th Anniversary celebrations.
Kerryn has studied Japanese traditional folk dances with Kodo member Chieko Kojima and folk songs, lullabies and Ainu songs with Yoko Fujimoto, also of Kodo.
Kerryn graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Queensland, a Postgraduate Diploma from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and continues to extend her studies in Japan. She is currently Taikoz's Education Co-ordinator, establishing events and opportunities for school students to work with Taikoz, and is a sought after performer, taiko and percussion teacher.
Kevin’s musical background includes an A.Mus.A diploma in piano, playing bass guitar in a rock band and classical percussion studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree. Kevin joined The Queensland Orchestra in 1999, followed by membership of Taikoz in 2002. In order to pursue his interest in wadaiko Kevin left the orchestra in 2003 to focus on study of taiko, shinobue and shakuhachi.
Kevin has undergone intensive training with Miyake Daiko teacher Akio Tsumura, O-Edobayashi wadaiko and shinobue with Kyosuke Suzuki, Onikenbai dance and shinobue with Yoshikazu Fujimoto (Kodo) and Iwasaki Onikenbai.
Kevin has held numerous performing and teaching positions including Acting Chair of Percussion Unit, Sydney Conservatorium in 2005, and Acting Head of Percussion, Queensland Conservatorium in 2003. Kevin is also active as a freelance classical musician, performing with groups including the Sydney Symphony and Australian Chamber Orchestra, and is also involved in the contemporary percussion duo, Karak Percussion - a group he founded in 2001 with fellow Taikoz member Kerryn Joyce.
In addition to performing and teaching, Kevin is currently undertaking a Master of Music Degree in Shakuhachi under the direction of Riley Lee at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.