Taiko Artist


Performer, Composer, and Artistic Director of Mu Daiko

Rick Shiomi is an award-winning taiko artist. He began playing in 1979 as a member of Katari Taiko in Vancouver, British Columbia. In the 1980s, he studied with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, and has performed with several groups, including Soh Daiko of New York (as a guest artist) and Wasabi Taiko in Toronto. 


In 1997, at the request of actors at Mu Performing Arts, Shiomi began teaching taiko, and formed Mu Daiko, a taiko drumming ensemble, that same year. Under his leadership, Mu Daiko evolved into a regular troupe, performing one mainstage production a season, and over the years developed an extensive outreach and educational program with over a hundred engagements annually. Mu daiko became so successful that Theater Mu changed its name to Mu Performing Arts as the super brand and Theater Mu and Mu Daiko as sub-brand names.

In 2005, Mu Daiko performed at the mainstage performance, Taiko Jam, at the National Taiko Conference in Los Angeles. As the artistic director, lead player and composer for Mu Daiko for more than ten years, Shiomi garnered numerous awards including a 1998 MN State Arts Board Cultural Collaborations Award for taiko, a drumming collaboration with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater; a 2002 Paddle and Drum Composition Award for "Chrysanthemum Dawn"; and a 2004 Paddle and Drum Composition Award for "Kiyomizu Cascade". In 2010, he retired from regular participation in the Mu Daiko, which was then  led by Iris Shiraishi.  In 2017 (after Shiomi had left Mu Performing Arts in 2014) the two groups, Theater Mu and Mu Daiko split into two separate companies, with the theater group returning to the name Theater Mu and the taiko group under the leadership of Jennifer Weir, becoming Taiko Arts Midwest, with two primary groups within that entity, Enso Taiko and Ensemble Ma.