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. Trained in Classical percussion as well as traditional Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and Indian styles and instruments, his client list is made up of luminaries spanning practically every genre.
Taku’s list of live performances include Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Sean “Diddy” Combs, John Mayer, Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, Josh Groban, LeAnn Rimes, Patti Labelle, Barry Manilow, Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, Brandy, The Neville Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Don Henley, Travis Tritt, Sheila E., Joe Zawinul, Yolanda Adams, Cece Winans, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Cirque du Soleil.
He has also toured the world with Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Isaac Hayes, Lindsey Buckingham, Academy Award-winning composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), Italian vocal icon Giorgia, and Japanese pop superstar Utada Hikaru.
Taku has recorded with artists as diverse as Dr. Dre, Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, The Temptations, Nelly Furtado, Stevie Nicks, Jason Mraz, Josh Groban, and Lionel Richie, in addition to working on numerous major motion picture and television scores and soundtracks. He also acted as a consultant to Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails for the “Lights In The Sky- Over North America 2008” 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’s debut album, METRO, was released by Domo Records in 2010. Their sophomore album RONIN is slated for a fall 2012 release.
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 Reader’s Poll 2012 as Best Percussionist (runner-up) and DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies awards 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 on tour as a percussionist and soloist with Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson: THE IMMORTAL” world tour.