Taku Hirano, one of the top percussionists on the touring and recording circuit, has been referred to by rock legend Mick Fleetwood as the ‘secret weapon’ for good reason, with training in Classical percussion, jazz drumset, and traditional Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Indian styles and instruments.
Taku’s client list of luminaries spans practically every genre. He has toured the world with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, John Mayer, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Isaac Hayes, Lindsey Buckingham, Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), Japanese pop superstar Utada Hikaru, and as a soloist on Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL World Tour (the #7 top-grossing music tour of all time).
His live performance credits include Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, Usher, Pharrell, Shakira, Iggy Azalea, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Patti Labelle, Melissa Etheridge, Josh Groban, John Legend, LeAnn Rimes, Chaka Khan, The Band Perry, Babyface, Jamie Foxx, Brandy, Don Henley, Janelle Monáe, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins, The Neville Brothers, Jill Scott, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Sheila E., Joe Zawinul, Yolanda Adams, Andrea Bocelli, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Cirque du Soleil.
Taku has recorded with artists as diverse as Dr. Dre, Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, The Temptations, Nelly Furtado, Stevie Nicks, Ziggy Marley, Jason Mraz, Josh Groban, and Lionel Richie, in addition to working on numerous major motion picture scores and soundtracks, television shows, and national commercials. He also acted as a consultant to Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails for the “Lights In The Sky” tour.
As co-founder of the production duo Tao of Sound, he has worked as a producer and programmer of commercial sound libraries, and remixer for artists such as Hip-hop superstar Kanye West and New Age pioneer Kitaro. Tao of Sound has released three albums under the Japanese label Domo Records: Metro (2010), Ronin (2012), and These Times (2015).
On the educational front, Taku continues to be a monthly columnist for DRUM! Magazine, a contributor for Modern Drummer Magazine, a sought-after international drum clinician, and has served as an artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University and teacher at the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz at USC.
Taku was listed in Modern Drummer Magazine’s Reader’s Poll 2014, 2013, and 2012 as Best Percussionist (runner-up) and DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies awards 2015 Percussionist of the Year (runner up), 2015 Rock/Pop/Hip-Hop Percussionist (runner-up), 2013 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2013 Rock/Pop/Hip-Hop Percussionist (runner-up), 2012 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2012 World Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2011 Studio Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Jazz/Fusion Percussionist (runner-up), 2011 Live Performer (runner-up), 2011 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2010 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year, 2009 Rock/Pop Percussionist of the Year, 2008 Percussionist of the Year (runner-up), 2008 Best Worldbeat Percussionist (runner-up), and 2007 Percussion Rising Star.
Taku is currently working with stage and screen icon Bette Midler on her “Divine Intervention” world tour.