Stonewave Taiko is based in Bega on the wilderness coast of South East NSW and is the one of few taiko ensembles based in remote regional Australia. Formed in 2014, it currently boasts over 35 members of a diversity of ages and walks of life. Stonewave performs the beautiful and dynamic art form of Japanese taiko drumming.
Led by professional musician and Artistic Director, David Hewitt, Stonewave Taiko blends ancient traditions with contemporary Australian conditions to create a new chapter in the story of Taiko in Australia. Our objectives include:
- fostering taiko and associated performance arts
- developing a community taiko ensemble with a distinct local style
- developing skills with master classes from visiting teachers
- collaborating with community, cultural and festival opportunities
Stonewave Taiko offers regular, weekly classes in Bega and Cobargo, intensive taiko weekends, workshops, performances and school programs.
Stonewave Taiko have collaborated with indigenous women’s dance group the Djaadjawan Dancers on the project Four Echoes of a Heartbeat. David Hewitt composed an original taiko score to accompany traditional Aboriginal dance.
Stonewave was the hit of the 2017 National Folk Festival with their show Thunder and Waves featuring Sydney-based professional taiko duo, YuNiOn.
In 2018 & 2019, they presented the large-scale event Bega Big Groove featuring over 50 performers, musicians and dancers presenting an evening of ground-breaking collaborations of rhythm and movement. Performances were a global fusion – including Bollywood Bhangra, Afro-pop, Hip Hop, Flamenco, Classic Pop, West African, and Japanese. An audience of 310 people attended the show, sitting back to enjoy the music as well as joining in the dance and movement.
In 2022, the Bega Big Matsuri was presented in Bega, featuring YuNiOn as Artistic Directors – a scaled down event due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, but nevertheless attracting an audience of over 300 and performances by YuNiOn, YuNiOn Tribe, Sydney Miyake Kai and Far South Flamenco.
Stonewave has performed at numerous local festivals and events including Four Winds, Eden Whale Festival, Cobargo Folk Festival, Bega River Day, Tathra Enduro, the Bega Show, Tanja Market Day, opening the Bega Civic Centre on Australia Day 2016, Multicultural festivals in Cooma/Bega Valley, Harmony Day, Bega International Day of People with a Disability, International Women’s Day, Moruya’s River of Art, Nimmitabel’s Steampunk at Altitude Festival and the Bermagui Seaside Fair to name a few.
Stonewave Taiko have hosted numerous visiting professional teachers and players from Australia and Japan including TaikOz, YuNiOn, Riley Lee, Yoshio Yokuyama,Shome Shome Club, Eiichi Saito (from Kodo in Japan), and Dokkoisa Wachi Kai.
Stonewave Taiko is under the artistic direction of David Hewitt, a previous member of TaikOz who has studied taiko in Australia and Japan with Ian Cleworth, Riley Lee, Eitetsu Hayashi, Yoshikazu Fujimoto, Yoko Fujimoto, Chieko Kojima, Kyosuke Suzuki, Otaikoza Myojin, Gombe Daiko, Yasukazu Kano, Hiroo Asanuma, Tamaribuchi and Tsubasa Hori and Tiffany Tamaribuchi as well as members of Kodo and Ondekoza.
To cater for the need of high-quality affordable instruments for taiko players in Australia, Stonewave Taiko facilitated the setting up of TaikoDrumWorks, Australia’s only taiko drum design and manufacturing company based in Tathra, NSW. TaikoDrumWorks instruments are of exceptional quality and totally Australian, being handcrafted from local materials by Australian craftspeople.