Look at Kaoly Asano today and you’ll see the founder of a free‐spirited new style of taiko drumming. She’s the lead percussionist of Japan’s legendary GOCOO band. With GOCOO, she has performed music for the world’s largest festivals and provided music for the sci‐fi blockbuster Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions movie soundtracks. But on the spring day in 1990 when a friend first invited Kaoly to hit a drum, she was thinking up excuses to stay home.
Kaoly was more than merely disinterested in music—she actively avoided it as a young person. She didn’t play an instrument. Ditto for sports. She didn’t run, she didn’t shout. Laughing and even breathing can be difficult for a child with asthma. The prospect of getting sick was real and frightening. Kaoly had to be careful. She lived a calm and, above all, quiet life.
But out of consideration for her friend, Kaoly accepted the invitation to drum. And that meeting changed everything...
So begins our chapter on the life of Kaoly Asano, lead drummer for GOCOO, world-renowned performer, and music educator.
(Wondering how Kaoly went from quiet child to legendary drummer? Read her story in MUSIC MAVENS.)