Ju Percussion Group's founder inducted into PAS Hall of Fame

The founder of the Taiwan-based Ju Percussion Group has been inducted by the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) into its Hall of Fame for 2016.

"I am surprised by this recognition and feel very honored," said Ju Tzong-ching Tuesday.

Ju is one of the two PAS 2016 Hall of Fame inductees.

He said the award represents not just recognition of himself, but also the international percussion world's recognition of Taiwan's achievements in the development of percussion music.

The other inductee is Ed Soph, an American jazz drummer and educator.

Ju is the first Asian percussionist to be inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame -- the world's highest honor for percussionists -- since 1993, when Japanese marimba player Keiko Abe won the honor. They are the only Asian musicians to have been inducted since PAS established its Hall of Fame in 1972.

The Hall of Fame was set up to recognize the contributions of the most highly regarded professional leaders in percussion performance, education, research, scholarship, administration, composition and the industry, according to PAS, a U.S.-based non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of percussion education, research and performance.

PAS announced its 2016 Hall of Fame inductees Monday. In a statement, the society praised Ju, who serves as artistic director of the Ju Percussion Group, for having played "a significant role in enhancing the wide interest in percussion music in Taiwan over the last two decades."

"The wide popularity of percussion music in Taiwan owes a great deal to Ju for his pioneering efforts in music education," it said.

The Hall of Fame award presentation ceremony will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana Nov. 10, the first day of a three-day annual meeting of the society there.