TaikoProject announces the appointment of a new board president, Candice Shikai.

Candice Shikai

Shikai is an associate attorney at Seki, Nishimura & Watase, LLP, where she focuses her practice on defending public entities, corporations, and businesses in general liability cases, mainly in the areas of premises liability, products liability, and complex general liability. She first joined the TaikoProject Board in late 2019. 

“We are excited to have Candice as our new board president, said TaikoProject Executive Director and outgoing Board President Bryan Yamami. “Not only does she have the leadership and organizational skills to continue the growth and success of our organization, but she also intimately knows the group as a former performer with us.”

As a Boyle Heights native, Shikai grew up in and around Little Tokyo, attending kendo tournaments, Nisei Week, and other community events with her family. Her commitment to these local communities is reflected through her continued involvements in Japanese American and Little Tokyo organizations. 

She is the incoming treasurer of the Board of Governors for the Japanese American Bar Association, having served on the JABA Board of Governors since 2018. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the JABA Educational Foundation and on the Board-at-Large for Kizuna, a youth leadership development organization based in Little Tokyo.

“I am proud to support TaikoProject as the instrumental and premier group renowned for sharing the art of taiko across the country, while pushing artistic boundaries in the performing and visual arts,” said Shikai. “I look forward to the next few years, especially the group’s 25th anniversary, which will take place in 2025.”

Shikai will start serving a three-year term as of Feb. 1.

About TaikoProject

TaikoProject was founded in 2000 in Los Angeles by a group of young, emerging taiko drummers seeking to define a modern American style of taiko. The group maintains powerful traditional taiko songs and styles while also composing new music and choreography that pushes the boundaries of taiko artistry.

TaikoProject first made waves when they became the first American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005. They were then cast in a Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial, the first and only national advertising campaign to prominently feature taiko. The group has performed on the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, NBC’s “The Voice,” “The X-Factor,” rock band 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Up in the Air” music video, “Conan,” and ”Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and has appeared with Alicia Keys, John Legend, Peter Gabriel, and Stevie Wonder.

They recently appeared on Ovation TV’s “The Art Of,” “The Late Late Show” with James Corden, Food Network’s “Iron Chef Gauntlet,” the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and MTV’s AAPI promos.

TaikoProject has performed at many of the country’s top performing arts centers, including the Ordway Center (St. Paul, Minn.), Meany Hall (Seattle), Mondavi Center (Davis), Tower Theatre (Bend, Ore.), Hatfield Hall (Terre Haute, Ind.), and Ferst Center (Atlanta), just to name a few. In the last few years, they have toured to New York, Minnesota, Louisiana, Georgia, Alaska, New Mexico, Washington, Montana, and internationally to Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Germany. 

They have released three full-length albums, “Surrounding Suns” (2010), “Our Many Sides” (2015), and “Benzaiten” (2019).

Info: https://taikoproject.org/

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