MEMBERS


Stan Shikuma

Board Member

Stan Shikuma has been playing taiko since 1981, first with Seattle Taiko Group (1981-1986), then Kokon Taiko Ensemble (1987-1992) and finally Seattle Kokon Taiko (1992-present), serving as SKT's Artistic Director from 1995-97. Since 2000, he has also served as the Director of Kaze Daiko, a youth taiko group. Stan views taiko as a synthesis of rhythm, movement and spirit and enjoys exploring and developing each aspect.

Besides performing and composing taiko pieces, Stan has also written articles on the history and development of taiko, taiko training materials, a syllabus for a children's taiko class and a glossary of taiko terms. He has served as project coordinator for the Regional Taiko Gathering of groups from Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, sits on the Advisory Board of the North American Taiko Conference, and served as a consultant to the Japanese American National Museum’s 2005 exhibit, <i>Big Drum: A History of Taiko In The United States</i>.

Other recent performance works include:

Stargazer – New opera by Garrett Fisher examining the struggle between church and science in the trial of Galileo; performed by the Fisher Ensemble, All Pilgrims’ Church, Seattle, WA, January 2006

A Story of Sadako – Music and soundscapes for an excerpt of a longer play on Sadako, the young girl who died of leukemia after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Written and directed by Manuel Cawaling for the 60th anniversary memorial program. From Hiroshima to Hope, Green Lake, Seattle, WA, August 2005

Kaiki Shoku (Eclipse) – An original peformance piece written by William Satake Blauvelt and produced by Aono Jikken Ensemble. Based on the life of Japanese feminist and anarchist Suga Kanno, the first female political prisoner executed by the Japanese government in modern times. Theater Off Jackson, Seattle, WA, June 2005

Sounds of Shadow and Light – New musical scores for two silent film scores for Yasujiro Ozu’s A Straight Forward Boy and I Graduated, But… as well as a reprise of a previous score for Teinosuke Kinugasa’s A Page of Madness. Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle, WA, October 2004

Dream of Zeus – Orchestra (piano, electric lute, Indian harmonium, viola da gamba, oboe/English horn, taiko/percussion) for a modern opera based on the Oreistes. Composed by Garrett Fisher and produced by 16 Visions and Global Arts. Consolidated Works, Seattle, WA / January 2004; King County Performance Series: Tukwila and Enumclaw, WA, April 2004

Skies Over Normandy – Recording pieces of the soundtrack to a new Lucas Entertainment computer game, Skies Over Normandy, part of the Medal of Honor series of games developed for Sony’s Play Station 2. Music composed by Michael Giacchino. Recorded at Bastyr University Chapel, Kenmore, WA, June 2003

The Old Country – One-hour radio program exploring “roots” music from many lands. Guest host for a show on Taiko - Japanese Drums featuring history, background and music from 12 taiko CD’s. KBCS 91.3 FM studios, Bellevue, WA, May 2003

Theory of Flow (work in progress) – Collaborative exploration of music flowing from didjeridoo, blues guitar, vocals, taiko and DJ “scratch” music; with Aaron Straight, Christopher Blue, WD 4D, “Mad” Max; demo tape recording Killebrew Studios, La Conner, WA, April 2002

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Stan Shikuma

Stan Shikuma

Board Member

Lika Seigel

Board Member

Lika Seigel

Artistic Director
Interior Designer / Remodeler / Project Manager - 25 years
Taiko Player - 15 years
Mommy - 9 years

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Lika Seigel

Lika Seigel

Board Member

Marinda Chen

Board Member

I started taiko training with Seattle Kokon Taiko in October 1999 after seeing the group performed at the Benaroya Hall. Prior to discovering taiko and joining the group, I have a background on classical piano and various physical conditioning training. I love taiko because of how it embraces movement, music and spirit. Most importantly, hitting the drum makes me happy.

I am fortunate to have taken taiko workshops studying with world class taiko artists in a number of taiko conferences. Attending these conferences make me feel like part of the greater taiko community, a great bunch of people. In 2008, I travelled to Japan to visit Kodo at Sado Island via Kasa/Mix trip. Soon after in 2009, I had the opportunity to attend the Shidara Residency at Toei, Japan.

Over the years, I evolved into an ethusiastic taiko performer and SKT board member. I volunteered to create and maintain maintain SKT's website, web calendar and email distribution list, among other miscellaneous administrative tasks.

I have a BA degree in Information Systems and a BFA degree in Photography, both from the University of Washington. I'm currently a busy mother of an active 6-year old boy. My other interests include cooking, traveling, Tai Chi, Ping Pong, photography, modern designs and fashion, and physical fitness.

As an early import from Hong Kong, I'm fluent in written and spoken Cantonese and Mandarin.

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Marinda Chen

Marinda Chen

Board Member

Joyce Nakamura

Board Member

Joyce Nakamura has been playing taiko for about 13 years since taking a class from Kokon Taiko Ensemble, became a member of that group, then became a member of SKT when two groups merged in about 1992. joyce loves to play taiko, eat ono food, ski, swim, do yoga, go to hot springs, etcetera etcetera etcetera!

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Joyce Nakamura

Joyce Nakamura

Board Member

Charlene Lee

Board Member

I'm a transplant from Hawai'i. I moved to Washington partly for school and partly to get off the sinking island before it takes me under with it. I've been involved with music for going on 19 years. I started when I was seven with the violin which I absolutely hated (too squeaky) but stuck it out for six long, grueling years before discovering the viola which I play now and adore. I've been involved in symphonies and chamber orchestras for just about my entire musical life. Quartets are my favorite form of ensemble. I have been lucky to be in two, the first lasting for four years and the most recent lasting for nearly seven. (I became my own Yoko Ono and broke up the "band" when I up and left for Washington.)

I first became interested in Taiko when I was but a young lass at a festival in Hawai'i (because there's such a shortage of Asian cultural expression...sarcasm). I remember being completely amazed and thinking "Dude! I gotta try dat!" Since then I've tried to attend the Hawai'i Matsuri Taiko Festival every year and even managed to drag a couple of friends along...one of them being Jina who coincidentally happens to also be an apprentice member. Unfortunately scheduling conflicts kept me from participating. I've managed to see a couple of Taiko groups in Seattle at events such as WOMAD and Folklife and they rekindled my interest. Lo and behold at a phone booth in downtown Uwajimaya there was a flyer advertising a workshop sponsored by SKT. The rest, as you can see, is history. Yay!

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Charlene Lee

Charlene Lee

Board Member

Ken Harris

Performing Member

Why do I play taiko? Most of all, because it's fun. Being fun is what keeps me coming back to something (and practice is what makes me better at it, which makes it more fun ... it's a vicious cycle). When I see people playing, I think "I want to (learn how to) do that!". I've been looking for some kind of music to play, and nothing else jumped out at me like Taiko has. I'm not sure if I'm looking for a new means of expression, or just like beating big drums and shouting. It seems to share some principles with aikido, which is my other primary non-work activity.

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Ken Harris

Ken Harris

Performing Member

Joe Cabotaje

Performing Member

Taiko was not something that I got very much exposure to while growing up in West Virginia, but I would say that my experiences leading up to taiko certainly contributed to where I'm at today as a member of SKT.

Music became a part of my life starting at an early age. I first began piano lessons around the age of 6 and took my last lesson soon after graduating from high school. Within those 12 years were many recitals and performances. I also played the violin for a few years before putting it down and also flirted with learning how to play the drums for a school band. I ended up not pursuing the drums, but I guess the dream never died.

Did I mention that every year from 6th grade through high school, my classmates and I had to dance in my school's variety show? Looking back on that now, I looked forward to the annual extravaganza (it was actually called "Extravaganza") where I had the opportunity to perform on the grand stage of the Capitol Music Hall. Nothing too impressive, but fun nonetheless.

Anyway, on to Northwestern University, where I joined the school's Filipino student organization, Kaibigan, to get more in touch with my cultural identity. Within a few months, I was learning Filipino folk dances (tinikling is my favorite) and again, ended up on stage, performing and choreographing cultural dances... and even a little hip-hop.

Being in a college student group that performs Filipino dances in Chicago also gave me exposure to many other cultural traditions through joint events, which is how I got my first experience seeing and feeling taiko. I can only recall seeing two taiko performances, the first being a children's taiko group and the Chicago Cultural Center and the second being a trio that played a short gig at our student center. But those two occasions were enough to get me hooked - I had to try it.

Fast-forward to 2007 when I had found out I'd be moving to Seattle for a new job. One of my first thoughts was to find a taiko group and take a workshop. A few months after arriving in Seattle, I did just that - took an SKT workshop, became an apprentice, joined the group as an official member.

Music, dancing, performances - all things that I've been doing since growing up in West Virginia, and fortunately, I am able to continue that in Seattle with SKT.

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Joe Cabotaje

Joe Cabotaje

Performing Member

Jina Oshiro

Performing Member

Biography, the short short short version: I'm an easily amused Honolulu transplant who enjoys hitting things with sticks.

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Jina Oshiro

Jina Oshiro

Performing Member

Brandon Uttech

Performing Member

After seeing Kodo perform in 2000, I knew that taiko was an art form I wanted to explore. Fluid and powerful movements (so very similar to the martial arts) combined with primal music.

5 years of traveling and school flew by, and I found myself in Seattle, enrolled in an SKT Introduction to Taiko class.

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Brandon Uttech

Brandon Uttech

Performing Member

Andrea McQuate

Performing Member

Biography shy :)

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Andrea McQuate

Andrea McQuate

Performing Member

Matthew Hurst

Performing Member

Biography shy :)

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Matthew Hurst

Matthew Hurst

Performing Member

Ngoc Dinh

Performing Member

Biography shy :)

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Ngoc Dinh

Ngoc Dinh

Performing Member

Patrick Liu

Performing Member

Biography shy :)

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Patrick Liu

Patrick Liu

Performing Member

Carla Yamashiro

Performing Member

Biography shy :)

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Carla Yamashiro

Carla Yamashiro

Performing Member