Franco Headshot.jpeg
Geoff Headshot.jpeg

Franco Imperial (Artistic Director) ( is a member of the Audition Process Class of 1998. He joined the Artistic Staff in 2000 and became Artistic Director in 2011. Franco has composed over 20 original works for SJT and has co-created and produced collaborations with artists such as Abhinaya Dance Company (“Synergy” which won the 2011 Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text ), 5-time Grammy Award-nominee John Santos, NEA Heritage Fellow Danongan Kalanduyan, artist/teacher Dan Sabanovich, The Bangerz (Ji: A Common Pulse), Epic Immersive (Swingposium, Japantown Immersive), and Aswat Ensemble (Echoes Into The Future). He is a member of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) and has led workshops for the North American Taiko Conference, European Taiko Conference, and Intercollegiate Taiko Invitationals. In 2010 he became an Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) Apprenticeship Program recipient. In 2014 Franco was selected to be part of World Arts West’s NextGen Leadership Group for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. In 2019 he was selected by the City of San Jose Office Cultural Affairs to be a Creative License Ambassador. He was an instructor for the 2019 Pacific Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit in Los Angeles, and a speaker on Audience Engagement in 2013 and 2019 at the Conferences in San Jose. 

Franco has honed San Jose Taiko's unique style and created a voice for the current generation while honoring the group's almost 50-year legacy. He leads SJT in artistic projects that align with three pillars: performing art as a catalyst to move audiences from awareness to action; performing art as a way to foster connection, cultural understanding, and widespread creativity; and performing art as a way to open hearts and minds, building a more just and equitable society.

Geoff Noone (Artistic Staff) (Torrance, CA) started playing taiko in college with UC Irvine Jodaiko and was its executive director his senior year. He joined the SJT Audition Process class in 2011. Geoff currently teaches in SJT’s Junior Taiko program. His first original composition for SJT debuted in 2015, and he recently composed a collaborative piece with the Aswat Ensemble. He is a member of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) and attended the 2016 Silkroad Global Musician's Workshop.

San Jose Taiko Workshops:

Taiko Voices

San Jose Taiko

Franco Imperial and Geoff Noone


Learn this open source developed by leaders of North American Taiko pioneering groups San Francisco Taiko Dojo, Kinnara Taiko, and San Jose Taiko. Participants will learn the obon-style dance, music, and the background of this collaborative, FUN piece.


Skill Level: All

Listening Labs: Kumi-daiko Ear Training

San Jose Taiko

Franco Imperial and Geoff Noone


As individual artists we have the freedom to play whatever we want but in kumidaiko there is the priority to make everyone else in your group sound good. What does it mean to approach your playing from a listening standpoint and how can it be used to connect you with your fellow taiko players? This workshop will cover useful tools that can be applied to individual and group playing

Skill Level: Intermediate

Katsugi Basics with San Jose Taiko!

San Jose Taiko

Franco Imperial and Geoff Noone


This workshop introduces San Jose Taiko’s approach to the katsugi okedo. Basic concepts of fit, stance, grip, striking, and movement will be introduced and explored. This instrument is about more than just fancy crossovers. Time for some fun with fundamentals of this instrument!


Skill Level: Beginner. Bachi will be provided.


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