Derek Oye (Chair), Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives at Saban Community Clinic
Derek is currently a member of Kinnara Taiko of Senshin Buddhist Temple. He’s been honored to learn from Cal Raijin Taiko (Go Bears!), ICU Wadaiko, Yoki Daiko of Tenrikyo Church, Taiko Effect, Blazing Trails Taiko, the Los Angeles Taiko Institute, and UnitOne. Derek has over 4 years of experience in nonprofit and community work, and is currently a Board Fellow at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute through Kizuna’s Next Generation Leadership.
Johnny Mori (Chair Emeritus), Owner and Director, Japanese Festival Sounds
Johnny is a founding member of Kinnara Taiko and the original taiko player for the Grammy award-winning jazz-fusion band Hiroshima. He was General Manager of the Aratani/Japan America Theatre at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC) in Los Angeles, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the JACCC.
Stan Shikuma (Vice Chair), Registered Nurse, Univ. of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Stan chairs the Regional Taiko Groups-Seattle and is Director of Kaze Daiko. He was the Artistic Director of Seattle Kokon Taiko and now serves on their Board. He co-chairs the Power of Words Committee for the Seattle Chapter JACL and is a Board Member of the Tule Lake Committee. He also serves as copy editor for the NVC Newsletter.
Wisa Uemura (Treasurer), Executive Director, San Jose Taiko
Wisa started her taiko journey with Stanford Taiko and served as Artistic and Administrative Director during her four years there. Beginning as a performing member with San Jose Taiko, she has also held the positions of Artistic Staff and General Manager, and was instrumental in the development and execution of San Jose Taiko’s successful leadership succession plan before taking on the Executive Director position in 2011.
Jane Lin (Secretary), Project Engineer, Rudolph and Sletten
Jane first saw taiko at a Stanford Admit Weekend performance and was in awe by the artistic, athletic, and musical nature of taiko. She played with Stanford Taiko for 5 years before becoming an active member of the Taiko Community Alliance. She is currently serving as the Board Secretary of the TCA and Co-Chair of the Programming Committee.
Alan Okada, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Citi Foundation (Retired)
Alan Okada and his wife Merle have played taiko to accompany Obon celebrations in New York, Seabrook, NJ and Washington, DC since the mid-1970’s and were founding members of Soh Daiko. Alan chairs the Kodo Art Sphere America (KASA) board and served as an advisor for the Japanese American National Museum’s Big Drum exhibit. He served on the advisory committee for eight North American Taiko Conferences and the World Taiko Gathering. He has worked as a muralist, graphic designer and community organizer. From 1991-2011, he worked in international corporate philanthropy at the Citigroup Foundation retiring as vice president and chief administrative officer. He has served as vice chairman of the Advisory Council of the Leopold Kronenberg Foundation in Poland, treasurer for the Asian American Arts Alliance, and as a member of both the International Committee of the Council on Foundations and the national Corporate Advisory Committee of the American Red Cross.
Elise Fujimoto, Project Manager, GuideSpark, Inc.
Elise served as Conference Coordinator for TCA’s inaugural, NATC 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was previously a member of the TCA Transitional Board and has also served on the Programming, Communications, and Tech Committees. Elise is a charter member of Jun Daiko, based in Mountain View, CA and serves as an instructor for the Mountain View Buddhist Temple Taiko group.
Margaret McKenty, Technical Writer/Editor
Margaret is a long-time performing member and current President of Hinode Taiko Inc. (Winnipeg, Canada). A founding member of the Winnipeg Early Music Society, she has performed in genres ranging from medieval/folk fusion to Renaissance madrigals to baroque opera and oratorios. She helped edit TCA’s Statement of Core Values and Guiding Principles and served on the Transition Committee and By-Laws subcommittee before joining TCA’s Board of Directors in June 2015.
Rome Hamner, Development and Communications Manager, Silicon Valley Urban Debate League
Rome is the co-founder and Co-Director of Odaiko Sonora in Tucson, AZ. She first played taiko with Stan Morgan and his group MoGan Daiko. Along with playing and teaching taiko, she holds a Level 1 Orff Certification and a Masters in Public Administration.
Stuart Paton, Founder and Artistic Director, Burlington Taiko
Stuart Paton grew up in Tokyo, and there learned to play Cuban congas. His formal study of taiko began in 1984 during a summer apprenticeship with Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, the founder of the first taiko group in North America (San Francisco Taiko Dojo), and he founded the Burlington Taiko Group in 1986 not long after settling in Vermont. Stuart also co-founded and serves as the artistic director of Orchestra Guayoyo (Cuban-Haitian), and was also the co-founder and musical director for Sambatucada (Brazilian). He has played with Kilamanjaro (jazz), Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Ensemble (West African), San Francisco Taiko Dojo (Japanese), and the Sklar-Grippo Jazz Sextet.
Tamiko Ooka, Account Executive, National Tenant Network
Tamiko began learning the art of Japanese drumming in 1990 with instruction from Reverend Ron Miyamura of the Midwest Buddhist Temple and Soh Daiko. She is a founding member of Hoh Daiko, a Japanese drumming group established in 1991 and affiliated with the Seabrook Buddhist Temple in southern New Jersey. Tamiko has served as both artistic director and manager for Hoh Daiko and is still an active member.
After graduating from Rutgers University, Tamiko had the opportunity to travel to Japan with the Japan Exchange Teaching Program. While in Japan, she played with local community taiko groups and was able to participate in workshops dedicated to various styles of Japanese drumming such as Chichibu Yatai Bayashi and Miyake daiko. Through the years, Tamiko has performed at various venues including the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. She organized Taiko Tsunami 2, a major concert featuring both Hoh Daiko and Soh Daiko along with world-renowned Yoshikazu and Yoko Fujimoto of KODO.
Toni Yagami, Founder, Taiko with Toni
Toni has a B.A. in Music Ed. and started playing taiko in 1978 with Denver Taiko, moved to California in 1988 to join San Jose Taiko as staff and performer, returned to Denver in 1995 and started Taiko with Toni. She was a participant of the RhythMix trip to Sado in 2001 which became KasaMix in 2003, and was the trip coordinator in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014.