Ian Cleworth©Karen Steains_KSP1700BW

Ian Cleworth

Taikoz Artistic Director

Ian co-founded Taikoz in 1997 and has been the ensemble’s Artistic Director since. In 2005 he became full-time with the group after having spent 20 years as Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and 16 years with the percussion group Synergy.

Ian is a performer, composer and teacher, and as a member of Taikoz has collaborated with, and composed works for the ensemble and artists as diverse as John Bell and the Bell Shakespeare Company, taiko great Eitetsu Hayashi, koto virtuosi Kazue Sawai and Satsuki Odamura, and choreographers Meryl Tankard and Anandavalli. In the 1980s Ian learnt taiko with Sen Amano of Yamanashi Prefecture, followed two decades later by tutorship from Eitetsu Hayashi. With Synergy, Ian collaborated with such luminaries as Fritz Hauser, Trilok Gurtu, Hossam Ramzy, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Palle Mikkelborg, Dave Samuels, Graeme Murphy and Mike Nock, and toured Australia, England, Hungary, Sweden, Taiwan, Japan, Poland, Germany, New Zealand and Singapore.

In 2007 Ian received the APRA-AMC Classical Music Award for Long-term Contribution for the Advancement Of Australian Music.

Riley Lee©Karen Steains_KSP1749BW

Riley Lee

Shakuhachi Soloist and Taikoz Artistic Administrator

Riley co-founded Taikoz in 1997. He began playing the shakuhachi in 1971 as a student of Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and with Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984. In 1980, he became the first non-Japanese to attain the rank of dai shihan or Grand Master, and from 1973 was the first non-Japanese to play taiko professionally by touring internationally as a full-time performer with Ondekoza. Riley completed his BA and MA degrees in music at the University of Hawai’i, and received his PhD degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Sydney. In 2003, 2009 and 2011, he was made Visiting Fellow at Princeton University.

Kerryn Joyce©Karen Steains_KSP1682BW

Kerryn Joyce

Taikoz member and Classes Coordinator

Kerryn joined Taikoz in 2001 and is regularly seen on stage as a taiko player, dancer, singer and shinobue player. 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. She is currently Taikoz’s Education Co-ordinator, establishing events and opportunities for taiko enthusiasts to work closely with Taikoz and international artists and learn more about taiko and shinobue (bamboo flute).

Kevin Man©Karen Steains_KSP1659BW

Kevin Man

Taikoz member

Kevin joined Taikoz in 2002 and is regularly seen performing on taiko, shakuhachi and shinobue, as well as Onikenbai dance. Kevin has undergone intensive training in Miyake Daiko with Akio Tsumura, O-Edobayashi wadaiko and shinobue with Kyosuke Suzuki, Onikenbai dance and shinobue with Kodo’s Yoshikazu Fujimoto and the original masters of Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai. Kevin travels to Japan most years to train with Iwasaki Onikenbai and to perform in the Kitakami Michinoku Geinou Matsuri.

Anton Lock©Karen Steains_KSP1770BW

Anton Lock

Taikoz member

Anton began as a Taikoz Associate Player in 2003 and became a full-time member in 2006. Anton is seen on stage as taiko player and Onikenbai dancer, as well as a contemporary dancer, having worked closely with internationally acclaimed choreographer Meryl Tankard since 2007. In 2007 and 2008 Anton travelled to Sado Island and was taught Onikenbai, a traditional performing art of Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture by Yoshikazu Fujimoto of Kodo. He is continuing his study with Yoshikazu Fujimoto and the original masters of Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai, training with them in Japan every year and performing in the Kitakami Michinoku Geinou Matsuri.

Tom Royce-Hamtpon@Karen Steains_KSP2532BW

Tom Royce-Hampton

Taikoz member

Tom joined Taikoz as an Associate Player in 2005, followed by membership of the group in 2007. He has travelled to Japan on numerous occasions, including several visits to Kitakami City for study of the traditional dance called Onikenbai with the original masters of Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai. He has also given several performances of Onikenbai at the Kitakami Michinoku Geinou Matsuri. Tom has been heavily involved in the conception, development and composition of two multi-arts works for Taikoz – TaikoDeck and Origin Of O.

Sophia Ang©Karen Steains_KSP1725BW

Sophia Ang

Taikoz member

Sophia was named Associate Player in 2012 after successfully auditioning for Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2011. She became a member of the ensemble in 2014. Sophia has played in Taikoz’s 2012 Kodo and Taikoz In Concert Australian tour, and 2014 tour of the USA, which culminated in performances at the World Taiko Gathering in Los Angeles. Sophia completed a Bachelor of Music at Melbourne University and has performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia.

Claire Boyle©Karen Steains_KSP1825BW

Claire Boyle

Taikoz associate teacher

Claire began studying wadaiko with Taikoz in 2006 and completed Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2011. She began taiko teacher-training in 2010. Claire is a member of Taiko no Wa and has performed in Japan and Australia including festivals, community events and the 2011 Tokyo International Wadaiko Contest. She has also travelled to Iwate prefecture to study the music of Onikenbai with original masters, Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai. Claire has a Bachelor of Education in Special Education and a Masters of Occupational Therapy.

Ryuji Hamada©Karen Steains_KSP1909BW

Ryuji Hamada

Taikoz associate teacher

Ryuji was born and played wadaiko in Yokohama, Japan. He has also studied the yoko-uchi style of taiko on Hachijo Island, as well as Miyake-daiko with original masters, Tsumura-sensei and Sons. After travelling to Australia in 2012, Ryuji completed Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2013, followed by IDP2 in 2014. Since that time, Ryuji has joined Taikoz as Associate Player (mainstage) and is now actively involved in Taikoz’s teaching program.

Martin Lee©Karen Steains_KSP2289BW

Martin Lee

Taikoz associate teacher

Martin has been studying wadaiko with Taikoz since 2005 and completed the Taikoz Individual Development Program in 2009. He is a founding member of the student performing group from the Taikoz school Taiko no Wa, winner of the 2011 Tokyo International Wadaiko Contest. Martin has performed with Taiko no Wa in Japan, and with Taikoz in Taiwan and around Australia, including mainstage performances, music festivals, community events, school shows, workshops and corporate events. He is also experienced in teaching students of all ages. Martin has played drum-set since age 11 and has a Bachelor of Engineering from RMIT University.

Samantha Newton©Karen Steains_KSP2308BW

Samantha Newton

Taikoz associate teacher

Sam has been studying wadaiko since 2003 and completed the Individual Development Program with Taikoz in 2008. Sam is a founding member of Taiko no Wa – winner of the 2011 Tokyo International Wadaiko Contest – and was involved in coordinating the activities of the group from 2006-2013. Sam has been an Associate Teacher with Taikoz since 2011 and has performed with Taikoz as an individual and as a member of Taiko no Wa. Sam is actively involved in Taikoz’s schools concert and workshops program.


Sophie Unsen©Karen Steains_KSP2276BW

Sophie Unsen

Taikoz associate teacher

Sophie became a Taikoz Associate Player in 2014, after successfully completing Taikoz’s Individual Development Program in 2013. She has studied shinobue (bamboo flute) and taiko with Kaoru Watanabe in New York City, and in 2015 travelled to Japan to undertake intensive study with Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai, Akio Tsumura & Sons, Kyosuke Suzuki and Mochizuki Saburo. Sophie also performed at the Kitakami Michinoku Geinou Matsuri in Kitakami City and Earth Celebration on Sado Island. Sophie has completed a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (saxophone) and has performed extensively overseas and nationally with various ensembles.