Taiko is the Japanese word for drum. In North America, this term is used to describe both the Japanese drum itself and the art form of kumidaiko (ensemble drumming with Japanese drums).
Stanford Taiko took root in the winter of 1992 after Ishimaru, Mih, and fellow students completed the first drum and invited fellow Stanford Workshops on Political and Social Issues (SWOPSI) course graduates and other interested people to form a taiko ensemble at Stanford University. Since that time Stanford Taiko has grown to an ensemble of approximately 20 students with an all-original repertoire and the sponsorship of the Stanford Department of Music. The group performs regularly at major university events, and has gained international recognition through its program of regular touring. Stanford Taiko's tours have taken it to Japan, China, the UK, Thailand, Guatemala), and numerous destinations in the U.S. Stanford Taiko remains true to the goals of its original charter to present taiko to the Stanford community, and to educate the community about taiko.
Tshaka Campbell, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
Tshaka Menelik Imhotep Campbell is Poet Laureate for Santa Clara County. He began writing poetry long before performing it in an attempt to find his own voice and point of view within the art form. As a performer, he is recognized as an accomplished artist internationally. His performance accolades include membership in the Nuyorican national poetry slam team and the Da Poetry Lounge (DPL) slam team, and earning the Grand Champion title in San Francisco and Hollywood. In 2010, he was honored with the UK Unsigned Artist award in poetry. Menelik has toured a number of US cities and across the globe, featuring at venues such as the legendary Apollo Theatre and the O2 in London England.
He continues to be inspired by the struggle of life, the uncertain certainty of the universe and what it chooses to hand you. His wife and daughter show him the way daily, as well as so many authors and poets such as Octavia Butler, Ben Okri, Rumi, Baldwin, and countless others who spin language like silk. He currently resides in San Jose and continues to ask the world to listen different.
The Stanford Talisman
The Stanford Talisman is a group of Stanford University singers who came together in 1990 in an effort to bring light to underrepresented music and stories on campus. They sing music stemming from Black liberation struggles across the world. Their current group came together to create a virtual choir of Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black National Anthem in America. They have also been raising funds for organizations contributing to the movement for Black lives in America. They have performed at several Bay Area Schools, toured in communities in California, the East Coast, the American Southwest, and the Southern United States and embarked on five tours in South Africa. They have collaborated with local groups such as An Oakland Storyteller, Bay Area gospel choirs, Stanford Taiko, as well as artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Joan Baez, Seal and Vusi Mahlasela.