Summer Solstice Evening Observance: Kaminari Taiko of Houston Free (suggested contribution $5-20) Register to get chair on Plaza. Or bring own chair/blanket to sit on lawn. Kaminari Taiko of Houston, a Japanese drumming ensemble, marks the end of the longest day of the year with an evening performance. The art of Taiko (Japanese for "drum") carries deep significance in Japanese culture. Samurai warriors used taiko on the battlefield to signal commands and frighten their enemies. Townspeople warned of danger by beating on taiko, and priests used taiko at religious ceremonies to communicate with gods. Temples and shrines throughout Japan display taiko as a symbol of purification and to dispel evil spirits. Kaminari Taiko was founded in 1996 by Jay Mochizuki along with talented musicians from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. Members diligently trained under world acclaimed Taiko Masters to learn fundamental skills, philosophy and spirit of this centuries old Japanese tradition.