Laura Ellis

The current COVID pandemic has taken its toll on performing arts organizations and performing artists. In hopes to support these artists who are critical to our success, we have created TOCA To Go. A way to support local artists and TOCA.


Know someone who is missing the excitement of a live performance? Got a special occasion that you want to celebrate or need a special gift you want to send to someone?

With just a few clicks, we will send a performer to your home, place of work or other location. Performers who travel will maintain social distance.

Just fill out the form here: Send a Performance

We will contact you to get more information and work to schedule your personal performance.


Singer, actress, and recording artist, Laura Ellis is known for her beautiful voice, her vintage vocal styling, and her sparkling stage presence.

Laura performs across country in her touring productions. With her retro jazz flair, she has graced cabaret and concert stages including the famed Jazz Alley in Seattle, Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco, and the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, CA. Her broadcast credits include History Channel’s Route 66 and Modern Marvels documentaries, the HBO Carnivale series, and ABC’s Modern Family. In recent years, she has starred as the singing voice of the adventurous, Kat Knight, on the video game Contrast, by Compulsion Games, downloaded more than 1.5 million times.

Her most recent recording, Broken, Lovely, was in consideration for a Best Vocal Jazz Grammy in 2016. Join our conversation by clicking the video below:

Additional performers who are a part of TOCA To Go are:

Janet Klein
Janet is the very definition of an “old soul”. Growing up in a region of Southern California where the last vestiges of the “California Dream” were still barely in tact as strip malls proliferated, she linked historical images she’d seen of early turn-of-the century postcards with bungalows along palm lined streets, orange groves, grand Mission style hotels & onion-domed libraries- the way things were got into her blood, and today she’s the most refreshing anachronism to every materialize from the ether of the Prohibition.
Klein doesn’t merely perform songs from “ lost America” –she actually lives them, and transports her audiences along the way. Klein considers herself a “musical archeologist and treasure hunter” digging up compositions by the likes of Wilton Crawley and A.P. Randolf and Robert Cloud, songs of the Victrola and lost Vitaphone films. She and her LA based band the Parlor Boys authentically resuscitate early jazz of the 1920s and 1930s with wild spirit, vigor and grand skill.


Yuta Kato
Ensemble Taiko

Yuta Kato was born and raised in California to a Japanese speaking family. Introduced to taiko by Kagami-Kai, a local rice-pouding group, he decided to further his studies with San Francisco Taiko Dojo at the age of 10. Since then he has been a part of UCLA Kyodo Taiko, Nihon Taiko Dojo, Getsuyoukai, and professional groups: TAIKOPROJECT, ON Ensemble, and Portland Taiko, Unit Souzou. From Fall 2007 until Winter 2011, he resided in Japan to study under masters of various traditional Japanese music. Upon returning to the US in 2011, he served as Coordinator for the 2011 North American Taiko Conference at Stanford University.
Kato now focuses his attention to teaching taiko and currently resides in California serving as the principal and instructor for LATI (Los Angeles Taiko Institute) housed at Asano Taiko US, which opened in 2013. He performs as a member of UnitOne (Torrance, CA).

Isaku Kageyama
Isaku Kageyama is a taiko performer, educator, and recording artist currently working with Asano Taiko US, Los Angeles Taiko Institute, and UnitOne. His resume includes performances on networks such as NBC and VH1, venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and tours of across North, South, and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Julia Asano Trio
Julia Asano, then Julia Kato, began her taiko career under the tutelage of Seiichi Tanaka as a member of San Francisco Taiko Dojo Rising Stars Dream Team. She was also a performing member of TAIKOPROJECT in 2005 and 2006 before moving to Japan and marrying into the drum-making Asano family. She helped found Asano Taiko U.S., teaches at Los Angeles Taiko Institute, and performs with the Asano Taiko U.S. resident ensemble, UnitOne.

Derek and Airi Oye
Derek and Airi Oye have been studying taiko at the Los Angeles Taiko Institute and Asano Taiko US since 2015. Derek is an active member of Kinnara Taiko at Senshin Buddhist Temple and Airi is a member of UnitOne at Asano Taiko US. Both have performed in numerous concerts and events throughout Southern California and are enthusiastic about sharing the love and art of taiko with various communities.

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