Terry Nguyen

Tsugaru shamisen, Taiko drumming

About the Artist

Terry Nguyen, known as “tsugaruterry,” is a musician and educator specializing in minyo (folk) and traditional music of Japan as performed on the Tsugaru shamisen and taiko drums.

Terry began playing the Tsugaru shamisen in 2006. Initially self-taught, in 2010 she started her training with instructor Mitsuru Sasaki of the Mitsuyoshi Sasaki School of Tsugaru shamisen (Ibaraki, Japan). In 2018, Terry began studying with world-renowned Tsugaru shamisen composer-performer Hiromitsu Agatsuma (Tokyo, Japan).

Terry is the co-founder and Executive Director of TaikoMix, a non-profit Asian American performing arts organization based in Riverside, CA. In addition to her work as a solo musician, Terry currently serves as the Artistic Director of The Wagaku Collective, an all-traditional Japanese musical instrument ensemble with which she plays Tsugaru shamisen and taiko.

Terry is a faculty member with the UCR Department of Music and adjunct lecturer with the University of Redlands. Her work has been recognized by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, The Arts Connection Network, Aurora Foundation, and Center for Cultural Innovation. In 2022, she was named to Yamaha Music USA’s list of “40 Under 40” celebrating excellence in music education.




Tsugaru shamisen, Taiko drumming


Lectures / Lecture-demonstrations, Performances, Private instruction, Workshops

Program Participant

Apprenticeship Recipient, Living Cultures Grant Recipient

Offerings Location

In-person services, Online/remote services


Claremont, Riverside, Los Angeles







Artist Social Links