Meet artist, dancer and Taiko drummer Eva Kestner. Born and raised in Tokyo, Eva learned to drum at an early age from her mother, who had taken up the traditional instrument as a hobby. With a keen ear for the beat, Eva’s passion for percussion grew, taking her from amateur performer to professional. Today, she brings Japanese Taiko drumming and song to a modern context and creates and performs original pop music.
“It is not yet common for women to be taiko drummers at the professional level, especially in Japan,” Eva told WYSK in an email. “The composer of the piece in this video was the very first female drummer at the professional level of the world’s number one taiko group from Japan, KODO. But before that, women were only allowed to sing and dance, but not drum.”
As an all-around performer, Eva is also trained in Japanese folk dance (with a focus on male styles) and the street dance style Locking. In addition to her love for entertainment, music, and performance, she also works in the fields of education and is involved in humanitarian efforts such as raising awareness for the disabled.
“I really hope that my music inspires others and that leading female drummers could be recognized more, especially in Japan and thus abroad.”