An Evening Taiko drummers Koji Nakamura and Steven Tokunaga and with Len Saputo, MD
Hear Len Saputo's keynote address on Sat. Jan 29th
Len Saputo, MD is a graduate of Duke University Medical School and is board certified in Internal Medicine. He was in private practice in affiliation with John Muir Medical Center in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 30 years. His approach to healing is based on "health medicine"-an integrative, holistic, person-centered and preventive model.
Over the past 15 years, Len has guided the development of health medicine. In order to accomplish this mission, in 1994 Len founded the Health Medicine Forum. The Forum is a non-profit educational foundation that has sponsored more than 350 public and professional events, including monthly presentations, workshops and conferences. In 2001 Len co-founded the Health Medicine Center, an integrative medicine center that is located in Walnut Creek, California, that is bringing the model of health medicine into clinical practice. Further information on health medicine, the Forum, and the Health Medicine Center are available on the Internet at www.healthmedicine.org.
Active in public and professional education, over the past decade Len has produced and hosted the Prescriptions for Health Show on KEST Radio every weekday morning with his wife, Vicki. He has also made more than 70 presentations to hospitals, medical schools, universities and community organizations. He has edited six books, has contributed dozens of articles and chapters on topics in complementary and alternative medicine, and has just published a new acclaimed book through Origin Press called A Return to Healing: Radical Health Care Reform and the Future of Medicine (www.aReturnToHealing.com).
Len has been a strong advocate of fitness all of his life. In 1995 and 2001 he won the World Senior Men's Singles Tennis Championships and was formerly ranked number one in the world by the International Tennis Federation.
Koji Nakamura is considered one of today's foremost taiko artists. His career began in 1982 as a member of Japan's legendary Ondeko-za. In 1985 he became the first leader of the Shumei Taiko Ensemble. Starting with just three drums, three drummers, and two compositions, under his leadership the group evolved to one of taiko's preeminent groups.
Among the major guides who have honed Koji Nakamura's artistry are Tagayasu Den of Ondeko-za, who taught the importance of character and dedication, and flutist Meisho Tosha, the Shumei Ensemble's artistic director, who revealed the sophistication and unlimited expression possible within taiko. Primary among Koji's career guides and instructors was Shumei's first taiko artist, Toshiro Ishida, who instilled in him the belief that at heart taiko is a spiritual pursuit. Koji also believes that if taiko holds a purpose beyond pure enjoyment, it is to create harmony amongst people.
Koji Nakamura can be heard on most of the Shumei Ensemble's recordings. He was featured on Eugene Friesen's CD, "Sono Miho," and most recently on Paul Winter's CD, "Crestone." His work on the latter resulted in a Grammy Award in 2008
Koji moved to the United States in 2005 to help promote the art of taiko in North America. He now oversees a number of students, artists and groups throughout the country. Koji's goal through taiko is to create peace and harmony, and he hopes to inspire in others the spirit of taiko drumming. He believes that the most important aspect of a taiko player is his or her spirituality and sincere attitude. To truly inspire others with taiko, you must play with makoto (sincerity and truth).
Steven Tokunaga started learning to play taiko drums with Shumei Taiko Ensemble under the leadership of Koji Nakamura and several advanced players in Shiga, Japan from 1988 to 1990.
He moved to the US in 1996 and in the following year started playing taiko again, this time at the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, which was operated by the Grand Taiko Master, Sensei Seiichi Tanaka. It was Tanaka Sensei's kind guidance that opened the door for Steven's emergence in the US.
In July of 1999, after relocating to Pasadena, California, Steven formed a local group, which later became Makoto Taiko. The group consisted of only four people in the beginning, but grew with the participation of many young members.
Makoto Taiko has played at many venues, including the Prayer Vigil in Washington D.C., the Catskill Mountain Cultural Festival in New York, and at the World Festival of Sacred Music - Los Angeles. The group has also performed for various local cultural events, at Japanese festivals, for a TV program, and at their home base, inside Shumei Hall in Pasadena. Last year Makoto Taiko celebrated their tenth anniversary with a concert including Tanaka Sensei, Paul Winter and other talented artists.
Makoto Taiko is currently being led by Koji Nakamura, with Steven now participating as an advanced team member.
Laurie "Uri" Grant - Sat. 29th, 2:00 pm on Center Stage
Spiritual Leader, Uri (Laurie Keako'a' Grant), Kahuna Ho'okahi, has been an internationally known spiritual, healing, and metaphysical teacher for over 37 years. In 2003 Uri went into Non duality Oneness called "the highest state of human consciousness". Uri is now a full embodiment of The Divine Mother and her mission is to help people remember that they are One with the Divine and can live a life filled with Love and Peace. Having reached this state allows Uri to better facilitate her students reaching this state.
Laurie "URI" is a featured Guest Speaker at the Kauai Wellness Expo, has a new book coming out in February! The book, "Transform Your Life Now! The Spiritual Key to Excelling on ALL Levels" is also the title of her talk at 2pm on Saturday Jan. 29th where she will reveal the "Key."