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Taku Hirano

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Taku Hirano, one of the top percussionists on the touring and recording circuit, has been referred to by rock legend Mick Fleetwood as the ‘secret weapon’ for good reason. Trained in Classical percussion as well as traditional Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Indian styles and instruments, his 

Taku’s client list spans practically every genre and includes live performances with Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Iggy Azalea, Josh Groban, LeAnn Rimes, Patti Labelle, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, Janelle Monáe, The Neville Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Don Henley, Travis Tritt, Sheila E., Joe Zawinul, Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

He has also toured the world with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Isaac Hayes, Lindsey Buckingham, Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman ("Slumdog Millionaire"), Italian vocal icon Giorgia, Japanese pop superstar Hikaru Utada, and Cirque du Soleil’s collaboration with the Michael Jackson estate, the Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour (the 7th highest grossing live concert tour of all time, with 3.7 million tickets sold for performances across 27 countries). 

Taku has recorded with artists as diverse as Dr. Dre, Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, The Temptations, Nelly Furtado, Stevie Nicks, Jason Mraz, Ziggy Marley, Josh Groban, and Lionel Richie, in addition to working on major motion picture and television soundtracks. He also acted as a consultant to Trent Reznor for Nine Inch Nails' “Lights In The Sky- Over North America 2008” tour.

As co-founder of the production duo Tao Of Sound, he has worked as a producer and programmer of commercial sound libraries, and remixer for artists such as Hip-hop superstar Kanye West and New Age pioneer Kitaro. Tao of Sound’s debut album, METRO, was released by Domo Records in 2010 and their sophomore album RONIN was released worldwide in the fall of 2013. A third album for the label is slated for 2015. 

On the educational front, Taku continues to be a monthly columnist for DRUM! Magazine, a contributor for Modern Drummer Magazine, a sought-after international drum clinician, and has served as an artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University and teacher at the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz at USC.

Taku was listed in Modern Drummer Magazine’s Reader’s Poll as Best Percussionist (runner-up) for 2012, 2013, and 2014, as well as DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies awards 2013 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2013 Rock/Pop/Hip-Hop Percussionist (runner-up), 2012 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2012 World Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2011 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Jazz/Fusion Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Live Performer (runner-up), 2011 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2010 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year, 2009 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year, 2008 Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2008 Best Worldbeat Percussionist (runner-up), and 2007 Percussion Rising Star.

Wrapping up 2014, Taku tallied up an impressive list of projects, including performances with Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Janelle Monáe, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Tamar Braxton, recording on albums by Ziggy Marley, Chromeo, and saxophonist Jessy J, and performing in the house band for the BET Honors and at The White House.

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