Eva Kestner is a professional Japanese Taiko drummer, folk dancer, and singer-songwriter.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Eva was raised by a family of scholars and artists. From a young age she learned to how to drum and play piano. Her German/Japanese father introduced her to classical music while her Japanese mother introduced her to the Japanese arts. After graduating from the International School of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo she attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she earned a B.A. in Philosophy. While attending Cornell, she co-founded the Taiko drumming student organization called Cornell Taiko (YAMATAI) and was the lead drummer and musical director. After graduating from Cornell at the young age of 22, she returned to Japan and started performing professionally. She started her solo career a year later.
In addition to performing with many distinguished artists, musicians, dancers, and Taiko drummers, Eva is also trained in Japanese folk dance (which are predominantly male styles) and also has a passion for the street dance, Locking. She joined an Awa dance team affiliated with the prestigious Koenji Awa Dance Association, and made her way to become one of the top female dancers in Japan.
Today, her performance repertoire is very unique, in which she combines elements of traditional Taiko, singing, folk and street dance. In addition to her love for music and performance, Eva also is extremely passionate about education, cultural exchange and humanitarian efforts such as raising awareness for the disabled. She believes that within the Japanese arts lies universal lessons and applications for people of all countries, and continues to find ways to further educate and collaborate with her art. Every year, she guest performs in the Taiko Drumming Education for the Disabled Concert.
Her love for the arts, dynamic performances, and selfless spirit continue to inspire not only her many fans, but all her witness her performances.