Circle Percussion : Creating a Livestream Concert




Circle Percussion, a group with a rich history in percussion and taiko, would like to humbly ask support from around the world in making possible a livestream performance in April of 2022. The donations will go towards everyone involved in making the livestream a possibility.

The taiko world has been hit hard all over the world by governmental restrictions on gatherings and performances, and this has been no exception for Circle Percussion based in The Netherlands.

Through the multiple lockdowns they had been forced to close their taiko school for many months, and their performance opportunities shrank to zero.

Because of this, Circle Percussion is teaming up with the Japanese Art & Culture Centre of Utrecht (JACCU) to share with you their taiko & percussion art through a livestream scheduled for somewhere in April of 2022. JACCU will support in making the livestream a reality, and handle the promotion of the event, in addition to creating taiko-related content as we work towards the performance.

The livestream will showcase a newly formed Circle Percussion playing their own repertoire which has been finetuned over many decades.

For more information on Circle Percussion & JACCU you can have a look at the following websites:

Circle Percussion 



More information regarding the livestream concert can  be found below.



Tickets will be made available through an online platform specified at a later date.

Donations on this page could get you an added bonus:


€21 - €50 a chance to win 1 of 50 DVDs / CDs / posters from Circle Percussion’s history

€51 - €100 a chance to win 1 of 20 bachi pairs signed by the performing members of Circle Percussion

€101+  guaranteed CD/DVD/Poster + signed bachi


Contact details we acquire through GoFundMe will be strictly used for communication about the livestream concert and rewards.


A personal message from Erwin Oudshoorn: Artistic Director of Circle Percussion since 2002


Ever since I came across the artform of wadaiko I have been intrigued by the physical and mental aspects needed to create a good sound. As a percussionist, the way of playing a taiko drum was new to me, and over the years I realized that concepts I had learned from a Western perspective did not apply to the full-body approach of taiko drumming. This motivated me to dive deep into this mysterious instrument, which turned out not to be so mysterious at all once you feel the logic behind drumming on a taiko.


Having been a stage performer using percussion and taiko for more than 25 years has been a privilege and has brought me great fulfilment. Though a performer at heart, the gap between the audience and the performer remained apparent, and so we at Circle Percussion also set out to form a taiko school to come into direct contact with those who seek out to better themselves in the taiko art. Passing on the knowledge I have accumulated to our students fills me with renewed enthusiasm and passion, and so these are trying times for both us and our pupils.


Holding a livestream concert is something we at Circle Percussion have never done before, but we feel it will help keep us driven to play more concerts, and to reconnect with our audience, the taiko world, our bodies, and our passion. We hope to showcase this passion with a newly formed Circle Percussion and we look forward to more fruitful cooperation with other taiko enthusiasts in the future.






Circle Percussion started as ‘Circle Ensemble’, formed by Michael de Roo in 1973, with members who were classically trained percussionists at the various conservatories of The Netherlands.

During the late 70s they encountered the majestic sound of the taiko drums and the artform of ‘wadaiko’ through a composer/conductor by the name of Maki Ishii. This fateful meeting led to an adventure playing his world renowned ‘Kaguya-hime’, and later also learning ‘Monochrome’.

The introduction of the taiko drum to the consciousness of the Circle Percussion drummers created a fascination which would last ‘till this day. Over the years and indeed decades, members of Circle would dive deep into the philosophy behind wadaiko. As a result, the Holland Festival of 1983 became the first ever concert where non-Japanese would perform on the Japanese taiko.


‘Circle Ensemble’ in their early days, rehearsing Maki Ishii’s ‘Kaguya-hime’ before the Holland Festival. In the middle we can see a young Yoshikazu Fujimoto. Photographer: Jaap Pieper, 1983, The Netherlands


The cast of Kaguya-hime in 1988 with a young Circle Ensemble

Their great mentors, friends, and partners in these endeavors were none other than the members of a young Kodō, the world renowned taiko ensemble founded in 1981. Various tours and trainings in Japan and elsewhere under the guidance of Kodō throughout the 80s and 90s, improved Circle Percussion’s taiko skills as well as strengthened their bond with Kodō. This also led to an early connection with Asano, the oldest taiko producer in Japan, because Circle Percussion was able to receive drums from Kodō who used Asano taiko. A custom okedō-ōdaiko (the largest outside of Japan) was also especially made for them.


On the okedō-ōdaiko on the left a young Erwin Oudshoorn and on the right Gijsbert Zwart. In the foreground we see Janwillem van der Poll (left) and Niels van Hoorn (right), Drums of the World, 1996


This okedō-ōdaiko survived a fire at the local conservatory in 1988 in which all the instruments of Circle Percussion were stored. All of Circle’s instruments were turned into ashes, except for their custom made beast of a taiko, which was rescued by those who acted swiftly on the scene. Luckily, through a fundraising concert and some subsidy, they were able to bring new Asano taiko back into The Netherlands.

Fire at the local conservatory! 1988

Throughout the 90s and early 00s, Circle Percussion continued to dazzle audiences both at home and abroad with both small-sized performances and events viewed by millions, as well as with their many concerts and theatre productions.



Promotion for 'Drums of the World' in 1996

The addition of the sounds of the taiko into their repertoire became so popular that in 2008 it was decided to open a taiko school where those who had become enthralled by the taiko could learn to play these instruments just like the members of Circle Percussion had once been taught by Kodō. Passing on knowledge to their students became an important part of their lives.



Members of the taiko school with teacher Patrick Streng of Circle Percussion, 2017


In addition to this, Erwin (the artistic director since 2002) also set up Idō classes in 2014 together with Matthijs van Brakel, a shiatsu therapist. Idō refers to ‘movement’ in Japanese, and the classes focus more on the natural flow of the body, and the awareness of the body whilst playing drums rather than intricate rhythmic techniques. Erwin made drums similar to taiko specifically for these Idō classes, and Mr. Asano was impressed by his craftsmanship and gave him advice on how to improve these drums even further.

Akitoshi Asano together with Gijsbert & Erwin of Circle Percussion showcasing their various Asano taiko drums. 2014

Erwin showing his self-made drums he uses to teach Idō. 2014

An Idō bootcamp in action

Over the years it became more difficult to live from successful theatre productions, and so events and one-off performances became the norm together with the Idō classes and the taiko school. The active members of Circle Percussion also have undergone change, and has finally led Erwin to reinvigorate the group in the beginning of 2021 by starting up regular training again to work towards concerts again.

Core Circle Percussion members together with taiko legend Leonard Eto in 2019

From left to right: Sylvia Goos, Patrick Streng, Leonard Eto, Erwin Oudshoorn, Gijsbert Zwart, Sanne Oudshoorn, Wouter van der Wildt

Circle Percussion has gone through many phases, but since their fateful encounter with the taiko drums, they have never let go of this intriguing instrument. Their vast history is impossible to capture in a few paragraphs, so you can find some more of their highlights underneath this initial description from their humble beginnings to the recent past, as well as some more footage.



What makes Circle Percussion so unique within the world of taiko?


• Their early connection with Kodō (one of the pioneers of taiko as a performing art) going back to the early 80s.

• One of the first groups outside of Japan to start performing with taiko drums.

• Combining knowledge of the conservatory with taiko philosophy.

• Their ability to incorporate other percussion into their taiko performances.

• The multiple ways in which they have reinvented themselves throughout the years.

• Having made whole theatre productions by themselves.








太鼓界は各国の政府によって演奏や集会が制約されており、オランダを拠点とした「Circle Percussion」にもかなりの影響を及ぼされております。最近のロックダウンの影響により、太鼓学館を数ヶ月間、閉鎖することになり、演奏の可能性はほぼゼロになってしまいました。

そこで、Circle PercussionがJACCU「日本芸術文化センターユトレヒト」と協力することにより、2022年の4月、生配信コンサートで太鼓やパーカッションの技を競い合いながら再度実現したいと考えております。 JACCUが配信コンサートを実現できるように支援しながら、イベントの宣伝をすると共に、配信コンサートの開催までJACCUのホームページに太鼓に関連した、オリジナルの記事や動画など出す予定です。

生配信コンサートでは、新たなCircle Percussionが現在までの数十年間養ってきた、幅広いレパートリーの曲を演奏させていただきます。




このページで寄付して頂くと、 寄付金額によって、特典のアイテムの入手も可能となっております。


€21~€50  サークルパーカッションの50枚DVD / CD /ポスターの中から1つを獲得するチャンス

€51~€100  サークルパーカッションのパフォーミングメンバーサイン入り20個のペアバッチのうちの1つを獲得するチャンス

€101 +    CD / DVD +サイン入りバッチ








私にとっては25年以上、パーカッションや太鼓で演奏をしたことは特別な名誉で、大変充実しています。演奏者としての心を持っていますが、私と観客の間に距離を感じたので、和太鼓に興味があったり、腕を上達したりしたい方々のために、Circle Percussionのメンバーと共に太鼓学館を設立することにしました。自分が蓄えた知識を生徒たちに伝承することにより、改めて情熱と熱心に満ち溢れましたが、去年から生徒も先生方にとっても大変な時期となりました。


生配信コンサートはCircle Percussionにとって初めての経験ですが、これをきっかけに、またより多くのコンサートを行い、観客と太鼓界との情熱を再びつなげるように頑張り続けたいと願っております。私たちの熱意を新たに結成したCircle Percussionを通じて技を披露し、将来、世界中の太鼓が大好きな方々と共に協力してゆくことを楽しみにしております。



Circle Percussionは1973年にマイケル・デ・ロー団長により結成された「Circle Ensemble」として始まり、各メンバーはオランダの音楽院にて稽古を受けました。












• 80年代を遡った「鼓童」との関係

• 日本の以外で初めて和太鼓で演奏する団体の一つ

• 音楽学院の知識と和太鼓の思想の融合

• 他の打楽器も含め和太鼓演奏が可能

• 年月が経つにつれ、数回の再団結と太鼓風の見直し

• 独自性のある演劇制作



Theatre productions/演劇制作

’96/’97 – ’97/’98: Drums of the World

’98/’99 – ’99/’00: Drums of the World; De Jubileumvoorstelling

’98/’99: The Rhythm of Life

’99/’00: Kinetic Painting

’00/’01 – ’01/’02: Drumtracks

’02/’03 – ’03/’04: Drums of the World, Special Edition

’04/’05: Drums of the World, Super Special

’05/’06 – ’06/’07: Drums of the World, The Wild Edition and ‘Tuitende Oren’ (child theatre)

’07/’08 – ’09/’10: Drums of the World.4 and ‘Tuitende Oren’




’10/’11 – ’11/’12: Down to Earth!



’12/’13 – ’14/’15: Big! Men! Drums!

’14/’15 – ’15/’16: CRASH TEST DRUMMERS!

’15/’16 – ’16/’17: Bang That Drum


Other highlights


  • Action Painting with painter Norman Perryman which later evolved into ‘Kinetic Painting’.


  • Holland Taiko Festival. Performing works by Maki Ishii & Yoshihisa Taira.
  • World premiere of Ishii’s ‘Kaguyahime’ together with the Berlin Symfonic Orchestra & Deutsche Oper Berlin.


  • Dutch tour with KODO.


  • Workshops in Taiko together with Odaiko master Yoshikaze Fujimoto.
  • Concerts with marimba virtuoso Keiko Abe & legendary taiko player Eitetsu Hayashi.


  • 5-week-long tour through Japan at the invitation of the Tokyo Summer Festival.




  • ‘Circle Ensemble’ becomes ‘Circle Percussion’ and the foundation ‘House of Circles’ is created.


  • Early versions of ‘Drums of the World’ concert together with Keiko Abe.


  • ‘Drums of the World’ concerts in Sevilla, Spain.


  • ‘Kaguyahime’ tour through The Netherlands & Sweden.
  • TV recordings of the ballet accompanying ‘Kaguyahime’.


  • Concert during the first ‘Tag der Deutsche Einheid’ in Bremen in front of tens of thousands of spectators.


  • Gijsbert Zwart becomes artistic, and managing director of Circle Percussion.
  • Percussion festival in Vienna, Austria.


  • Performance at the Olympic City in Atlanta during the 100th Anniversary of the modern Olympics. (VIDEO)
  • The birth of ‘Drums of the World’ together with Anumadutchi. This theatre performance would become one of the most popular ones in Circle’s history, performing it over 250 times in various forms throughout the world.


  • ‘Drums of the World’ performed in Japan during Extasia.


  • A performance for Circle’s 25th anniversary.


  • ‘Drums of the World’ debut in Germany and Austria + a tour through these countries.


  • Performances at the international Standard Bank Festival in Grahams Town, South-Africa.


  • Debut of ‘Drumtracks’ with guest starts Willem Jansen & Hans Hasebos.


  • Erwin Oudshoorn takes on the mantle of artistic, and managing director from Gijsbert.


  • Performance of Maki Ishii’s ‘Monochrome’ & ‘Monoprism’ together with the Gelders Orkest.
  • A big event in a filled stadium with 40 drummers as an opening act. One of the largest productions in Circle's History.


  • Adventure Summer Surprise Festival in Dubai.
  • ‘Afro Concerto’ by Maki Ishii performed together with the ‘Gelders Orkest’.


  • Performance during ‘Friend of War Child’ in front of 10.000 people.


  • Performance for the opening of a whiskey brand (Cutty Sark) in Madrid, Spain.


  • Premiere of ‘Drums of the World 4’.


  • Opening of the first Taiko school in The Netherlands.
  • A ‘special guest’ in KODO’s cross-over with the Dutch band BLOF.


  • CLT20 Champions League Cricket Opening Ceremony in Bangalore, India. (VIDEO)
  • ‘Kinetic Painting’ with Norman Perryman in Qatar.


  • Hosting KODO member Eiichi Saito for workshops.



  • Performance at the international ICT event ‘Gitex Business Solutions’ in Dubai.

Cross-over with singer Alma Nieto in the opening of a power plant. (VIDEO)


  • New theatre production ‘Down to Earth’.
  • Performance of ‘Air drummers’ in Germany.
  • Helping to raise money for Japan by taking part in the aid concert ‘Nederland helpt Japan’ (VIDEO)


  • A taiko opening for one of the biggest hardcore-dance festivals in Europe: DefQon.1
  • Opening of the biggest dance event of The Netherlands: Mysteryland together with DJ Olivier Weiter.


  • Together with singer Alma Nieto, Circle Percussion performed at the grand opening of Bernhovenhospital (Uden) with a ‘tailor made’ song.
  • The Palace of Justice was officially opened. Your Highness King Willem Alexander and Mayor of Amsterdam Mr. Eberhard van der Laan conducted the ceremony.
  • International opening of FIFPro office Hoofddorp with aerial act ‘Air Drummers’ and well known soccer player Didier Drogba.
  • Severall performances during dance events such as Climax (Gelredome, Arnhem), Weiter in Paradiso(Amsterdam) and Tomorrowland (Belgium).
  • Circle Percussion played at the inauguration of Your Highness King Willem Alexander. The combination of drums, fireworks, firefighting boats and fighter jets created a grand spectacle.
  • Opening night of the new performance BIG! MEN! DRUMS!


  • June and July, international masterclasses given by Circle Percussion in Luxembourg.
  • June, Performances Japan Festival Amstelveen (the biggest community of Japanese people of The Netherlands).
  • The Hague, International Festival Classique, performances of Marimba Spiritual from Minoru Miki.
  • Performance with 25 drummers, floating on a stage-on-water, celebrating 750 years Oudewater City.
  • TV Performance National Globes ‘Gouden Televizier-Ring gala’.


  • Premiere theater show CRASH TEST DRUMMERS.
  • Corona SunSets Tour–summer 2015–UK, Rimini and Ibiza.


  • Premiere theater show BANG! That Drum.
  • 2 Days of performing in Belgium @Gym gala


  • Recording the music of SONYs game Horizon Zero Dawn. The most succesfull and most expensive Dutch game production ever. A worldwide award winning success. (VIDEO)
  • Performances of Flying Drummers in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. (VIDEO)
  • Premieres of SPLASH Drummers in The Netherlands and Germany. The new drum act for events with splashing coloured water. (VIDEO)


  • A tour across the Belgium coast during the summer season with a spectacular combination of dance, laser, fire street theatre and a lot of drums. Circle played drums Around!, Flying Drummers and a lot of Taiko drums high up in the air. @Diksmuide, Blankenberge and De Panne.
  • Grand re-opening of a shopping mall in Antwerpen.


  • Performance at Japan Festival Amstelveen with Leonard Eto (VIDEO)


Jim Gubbels

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