This month, Nen Daiko says farewell to Brenda Uyeda who has been a member since 2012 and is moving overseas. We had a delicious potluck to celebrate Brenda, her husband Brad and her 3 daughters. Brenda started her taiko journey in Hawaii where she grew up. When she was in middle school, she saw a Kenny Endo concert, where she decided taiko needed to be part of her life. She studied at Kenny Endo’s school and invited his group to play at her wedding, where she and Brad joined in to play the song Oiuchi Daiko. (Brad played the bells.) Brenda managed to do all the big moves, even in her wedding dress.
When they moved to Washington DC, Brenda missed feeling connected to Japanese culture, but she found her northern Virginia family in Nen Daiko.
Brenda says her favorite pieces are the power pieces, but anyone who has seen her performances knows that it’s her smile in the light-hearted pieces that draws the eye. She glows with happiness when playing.
Brenda contributed in many important ways to the well-being of Nen Daiko beyond the stage. She was in charge of our uniforms for many years, and she also coordinated our last big drum re-heading project.
Nen Daiko wishes Brenda, Brad and the kids all the love and best wishes for the next phase in their lives. To the girls, your aunties and uncles will be here with treats and smiles when you visit. Keep learning hula and maybe try taiko soon! To Brad, thank you for all the ways you supported us, as head cheerleader at performances to volunteering for Obon. To Brenda, we hope your next taiko group loves you as much as we do, and you keep growing as a taiko player. Mostly, we hope we get to play together again some day.