Marco Lienhard, artistic director Taikoza and of East Winds, Inc.
Marco Lienhard was a lead performer with ONDEKOZA for 18 years from 1981-1998. While touring as a professional taiko player in Japan, he mastered the shakuhachi under Master Katsuya Yokoyama, quickly becoming a virtuoso solo artist. Yokoyama invited him to perform to the First International Shakuhachi festival in Bisei, Okayama in Japan and then the tenth anniversary concert of the Festival. Marco Lienhard was invited to perform at four International Shakuhachi festivals that have been held around the world. He was invited annually to perform at the Meikyoku Kanshoukai concert series in Osaka. Lienhard also studied the fue and the Nohkan (Noh theater flute) with Masayuki Isso. Lienhard has performed more that 6000 concerts in Europe, Asia, and North America with appearances at some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom, Boston Symphony Hall, Osaka Castle Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center and Suntory Hall in Tokyo and he has performed with the NYC Opera. Marco Lienhard also teaches internationally and in the last year has been teaching and performing in New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil and Argentina.

In 1995, M. Lienhard founded the group Taikoza with which he has toured in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, Belarus, Georgia, Russia (Tchaikovsky Hall, Smetana Hall, Bolchoi Circus), Mexico and the US. Marco Lienhard is also the director and founder of East Winds Ensemble, a shakuhachi and koto ensemble based in New York that also performs internationally. Taikoza and East Winds Ensemble are part of a not for profit organization (East Winds, Inc.) based in New York that promotes Japanese music.

Lienhard has released many CDs to critical acclaim including Taikoza: Beginnings, which was nominated for best World music CD for the JPF awards. His First solo shakuhachi album became a best seller in Japan. He can be heard on the award winning (best score) Nintendo Wii game: Red Steel and Red Steel 2. Lienhard has also appeared on many TV program including the NBC Macys’ Thanksgiving parade, The Sumo tournament filmed at Madison Square Garden, ABC’s Regis and Kathie Lee, History Channel, ESPN, PBS and many more in Europe and Asia.


Taikoza uses the powerful rhythms of the Taiko drums to create an electrifying energy that carries audiences to a new dimension of excitement. The Taiko is a large, barrel-like drum that can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder. Roughly translated, Taiko means big drums-and that’s exactly what Taikoza brings. Big Drums, powerful rhythms, and electrifying, room-thumping energy.  Drawing from Japan’s rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza incorporates the shakuhachi, the fue (both bamboo flutes) and the Koto (a 13 string instrument). Taikoza’s new CD has been nominated as best Asian Ethnic Album for the Just Plain Folks Music Award. Taikoza has appeared on different TV programs such as Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the History Channel in “History vs. Hollywood” and ESPN S.U.M.O: The battle of the Giants. Taikoza is featured in the Movie: The Commute.

Key members –

Malika Yasuko Duckworth (Taiko) Born and raised in Wahiawa, Hawaii. Began playing Taiko at the age of 11 with Hawaii Matsuri Taiko from 1985- 1993. Malika has toured in Japan, Russia, Italy, California, Florida, and throughout the Hawaiian Island chain. Malika has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii. She moved to New York to study for a Master’s Degree in Special Education. For M. Duckworth, Taiko plays an important part in her life and it is a way to express her Japanese heritage and culture. She has been a member of Taikoza since 2001.

Marguerite Bunyan (Taiko) She has studied taiko with Marco Lienhard since 1997 and has participated to special Taiko workshops with San Jose Taiko, SF Taiko Dojo, and has done several workshops in Japan. She has been performing and touring with Taikoza since 1999.

Chikako Saito (Taiko, Dance) She was born in Tokyo and moved to New York to further her study of dance but later became attracted to Japanese culture and studied folk and classical dance and later Taiko. She has studied modern dance, ballet and Japanese folk and classical dance. Started to study Taiko in 2002 and has been performing taiko with Taikoza since 2004. She has toured all over the world first with The King and I and later with Taikoza.

Yoshiko Canada (Taiko) She was born in Japan. Started her study of taiko in New York and later joined Taikoza and became a performing member. She has also performed with other Taiko groups and performed at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space and Madison Square Garden.

Masayo Ishigure (Koto, Taiko) plays the Japanese koto in traditional and modern styles. Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. In 1986 she became a special research student at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music, ultimately joining a small group of virtuoso disciples of Tadao and Kazue Sawai. In 1988 Ms. Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music at Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. Masayo Ishigure now performs at private events, festivals, concert venues, and on CDs and television.