ABOUT TAKU ūü™ėūü•∑...

Taku Hirano is one of the most in-demand percussionists of his generation ‚ÄĒ a musical¬† chameleon onstage and in-studio, whether supporting iconic artists or fronting his own projects.¬† He has worked with everyone from Stevie Nicks to Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre to Dr. John, and referred to by Mick Fleetwood - founder and drummer of¬†Fleetwood Mac - as his ‚ÄúSecret Weapon‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnot only a master percussionist, but an incredible musician,‚ÄĚ and rock queen Stevie Nicks has proclaimed nightly on her solo tours that Taku is "the best percussion player, I think, in the world."

Born in Osaka, Japan and raised in California and Hong Kong, Taku began his musical journey at age 7 with Classical piano, transitioned to marimba, Classical concert percussion and drum set at age 9, and then added Afro-Cuban and Brazilian hand percussion as a teen.

Taku is a Bachelor of Music graduate - cum laude - of Berklee College of Music as the institution’s first Hand Percussion principal, where he studied Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, South Indian, Middle Eastern and West African percussion, and was under the tutelage of conga master Giovanni Hidalgo for four years. He also studied with jazz drumming legend Alan Dawson, West African and North Indian musical traditions with master percussionists as a World Percussion graduate student at California Institute of the Arts, and conducted a research trip to Havana through the U.S. Treasury Department, studying at the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (ENA) and at the home of Afro-Cuban percussion pioneer Changuito for a month.

Taku began his career in Los Angeles, working with jazz multi-reedist Bennie Maupin of Herbie Hancock's¬†Headhunters alongside keyboardist Patrice Rushen and his mentor, renowned session drummer Ndugu Chancler. Within his first 5 years on the L.A. scene, Taku became one of the top-call percussionists in hip hop on both coasts, performing live with Sean ‚ÄúDiddy‚ÄĚ Combs and his NYC-based Bad Boy Entertainment artist roster, including Faith Evans, Lil‚Äô Kim, 112 and Mary J. Blige, and for Aftermath Entertainment as Dr. Dre‚Äôs go-to L.A. studio percussionist on tracks for Nas, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and for Dre himself on his seminal album¬†2001¬†(with samples of Taku from 2001 later used by Dre in¬†producing Jay-Z‚Äôs The Blueprint 2 album).¬†

Taku‚Äôs client list has spanned the pinnacles of practically every commercial music genre. He has toured the world with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Dr. John, as a soloist on Indian and Japanese percussion for Academy Award-winning Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman‚Äôs Slumdog Millionaire ‚ÄúJai Ho‚ÄĚ world tour, as a featured soloist on the #7 top-grossing music tour of all time, ‚ÄúMichael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour‚ÄĚ by Cirque du Soleil and the Michael Jackson Estate, and as a¬†consultant to Trent Reznor for the Nine Inch Nails ‚ÄúLights In The Sky‚ÄĚ world tour. He has¬†performed in major arenas and stadiums in 30 countries across five continents, in Russia as a member of the United Nations/UNESCO International Jazz Day All-Star Band under the direction of Herbie Hancock, twice in South Africa for President Nelson Mandela, and twice at the White House for President Barack Obama (including the Obama-Biden Administration's¬†first State Dinner, honoring His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India).¬†

Taku’s performance credits also include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, George Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, John Legend, Andra Day, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Andrea Bocelli, Yolanda  Adams, Blue Man Group, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Taku’s recording credits include Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Stevie Nicks, Ziggy Marley, LeAnn Rimes, Josh Groban, Nelly Furtado, and Lionel Richie, in addition to numerous film scores, soundtracks and television shows.

As a recording artist and producer, Taku has been featured on the 2021 GRAMMY Awards, in national campaigns for Guitar Center, included in ORIGIN Magazine's list of Top 100 Creatives, and released four albums under his production duo Tao Of Sound on the Japanese label Domo Music Group: Metro (2010), Ronin EP (2012), Ronin (2013), and These Times (2016). His compositions have also been featured on The CW Network television shows (Walker, iZombie) and network promos, and signature sound libraries for Splice, Big Fish Audio and Producer Loops. 

In 2020, Taku signed to Ropeadope Records under the Modern Icon Recordings imprint to¬† showcase his return to jazz. His first single, ‚ÄúCome And Get It,‚ÄĚ featuring trumpet phenom Keyon Harrold, released in July 2021¬†and was promoted¬†nightly on Late Night With Seth Meyers¬†(NBC) during Taku's weeklong guest stint in the house band. Taku's debut album Blu York¬†- Live in NYC released in October 2021. In support of the album, Taku joined ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro as a special guest¬†on a 32-city North American/Hawaiian Islands¬†tour through November and December 2021. On April 21, 2022, Taku dropped his second sound library for Splice, Taku Hirano: Hot Butta Beats & Percussion.

Taku is currently on the road playing drums and percussion with country pop icon LeAnn Rimes for her "the story... so far" Summer/Fall 2022 tour.

*** See dates below!

"BLU YORK - LIVE IN NYC" ūüŹôūüíô ... TAKU's Debut Album! ūüíŅ

Blu York - Live in NYC

Taku Hirano

"Blu York - Live in NYC" marks master percussionist Taku Hirano's debut as a solo artist.

As one of the most in-demand percussionists of his generation, Taku is a musical chameleon onstage and in-studio, whether supporting iconic artists or fronting his own projects. He has worked with everyone from Stevie Nicks to Stevie Wonder, and Dr. Dre to
"Blu York - Live in NYC" marks master percussionist Taku Hirano's debut as a solo artist.

As one of the most in-demand percussionists of his generation, Taku is a musical chameleon onstage and in-studio, whether supporting iconic artists or fronting his own projects. He has worked with everyone from Stevie Nicks to Stevie Wonder, and Dr. Dre to Dr. John. Rock legends Mick Fleetwood - founder and drummer of Fleetwood Mac - has referred to Taku as his ‚ÄúSecret Weapon‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúnot only a master percussionist, but an incredible musician," and Stevie Nicks has said that Taku is "the best percussion player, I think, in the world."

Born in Osaka, Japan and raised in California and Hong Kong, Taku began his musical journey at age 7 with Classical piano, Classical percussion and drum set at age 9, and then added Afro-Cuban and Brazilian hand percussion as a teen.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music as the institution’s first Hand Percussion principal, Taku studied Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, South Indian, Middle Eastern and West African percussion, and was under the tutelage of conga master Giovanni Hidalgo for four years. He also studied with jazz drumming legend Alan Dawson in Boston, studied West African and Indian musical traditions with master percussionists as a World Percussion graduate student at California Institute of the Arts, and conducted a monthlong research trip to Havana through the U.S. Treasury Department, studying at the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (ENA) and at the home of Afro-Cuban percussion pioneer Changuito.

Taku began his career in Los Angeles, working with jazz multi-reedist Bennie Maupin of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters alongside Patrice Rushen and his mentor, legendary session drummer Ndugu Chancler. Within his first 5 years on the L.A. scene, Taku became one of the top-call percussionists in hip hop on both coasts, performing live with Sean ‚ÄúDiddy‚ÄĚ Combs and his Bad Boy Entertainment artists Faith Evans, Lil‚Äô Kim and Mary J. Blige, and for Aftermath Entertainment as Dr. Dre‚Äôs go-to studio percussionist on tracks for Nas, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and for Dre himself on his seminal album 2001 (with samples of Taku from 2001 later used by Dre in producing Jay-Z‚Äôs The Blueprint 2 album).

Taku‚Äôs client list has spanned the pinnacles of practically every commercial music genre. He has toured the world with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Dr. John, as a soloist on Indian and Japanese percussion for Academy Award-winning Bollywood composer A.R. Rahman‚Äôs Slumdog Millionaire ‚ÄúJai Ho‚ÄĚ world tour, as a featured soloist on the #7 top-grossing music tour of all time, ‚ÄúMichael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour‚ÄĚ by Cirque du Soleil and the Michael Jackson Estate, and as a consultant to Trent Reznor for the Nine Inch Nails ‚ÄúLights In The Sky‚ÄĚ world tour. He has performed in major arenas and stadiums in 30 countries across five continents, in Russia as a member of the United Nations/UNESCO International Jazz Day All-Star Band under the direction of Herbie Hancock, twice in South Africa for President Nelson Mandela, and twice at the White House for President Barack Obama (including the Obama-Biden Administration's first State Dinner, honoring His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India).

Taku’s performance credits also include Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Ed Sheeran, George Clinton, Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, John Legend, Andra Day, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Andrea Bocelli, Yolanda Adams, Blue Man Group, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Taku’s recording credits include Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Stevie Nicks, Ziggy Marley, LeAnn Rimes, Josh Groban, Nelly Furtado, and Lionel Richie, in addition to numerous film scores, soundtracks and television shows.

In 2020, Taku signed to Ropeadope Records under the Modern Icon Recordings imprint to showcase his return to jazz. His first single ‚ÄúCome And Get It,‚ÄĚ featuring trumpet phenom Keyon Harrold, released in July 2021, followed by the full album "Blu York - Live in NYC" in October 2021.
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