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Hey, I’m




About Me

Walter Nishinaka is a taiko player with over 25 years of experience. Walter started playing taiko with Chikara Daiko, a community group based in Little Tokyo, in 1996. Walter also spent some time in Japan, where he played with a group based in Asakusa, Tokyo. After returning to Los Angeles, he began working on solo and collaborative performances with various artists and groups including Taiko Center of Los Angeles, East LA Taiko, The Grateful Crane Ensemble, Japanese American Steam Punk band Lolita Dark, Japanese calligraphy artist Kuniharu Yoshida, and Kabuki Actor Nakamura Gankyo.

In October 2021, Walter started a community taiko group with Maceo Hernandez called the J-Town Taiko Club at Terasaki Budokan in Little Tokyo. In 2023, Walter and a small group of local taiko players formed the Los Angeles Taiko Collective, a small performing ensemble whose goal is to perform while connecting with other freelance taiko players to perform and jam. In 2023, Walter also restarted the San Fernando Valley Taiko Club, at the San Fernando Valley Japanese Community Center. 


Outside of taiko, Walter was also the drum director for the 3252, the independent supporters union for the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) from 2019 to 2022, and is currently co-director of Active Support for the 3252. Walter is a 3rd degree black belt and trains at the Matsubayashi Ryu Karate Dojo of Little Tokyo. Walter is also the founder and host of the Little Tokyo Talks Podcast, where he discusses Japanese American lifestyle and culture in Los Angeles. 

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Los Angeles Taiko Collective
LA Taiko Collective at Nisei Week Grand Parade 8/14/23
LA Taiko Collective at Janime 7/2/23
Odaiko at the Aratani Theater 8/13/23


Please contact me if you're interested in booking performances, MC, workshops,

private lessons,



Walter Nishinaka

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