Since its inception in 1995, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational (ITI) has been a longstanding tradition among the collegiate taiko community. The purpose of ITI is to provide a space and opportunity for collegiate taiko players on the West Coast and beyond to learn from and play with professional taiko players and players outside of their groups. This allows participants to expand their knowledge and understanding of taiko, as well as experience the greater taiko community outside of collegiate taiko and one’s own groups. Due to the global disruption that the pandemic caused in many teams, many current collegiate taiko players have yet to experience an ITI, and therefore may have yet to interact with taiko players and histories that are unique from their own groups. Due to the nature of collegiate taiko and its high turnover rate, various pieces of knowledge are gained and lost within a few years' time. Since then, collegiate teams have been engaged in work to rebound from this disruption and have been proactive in connecting with and sharing knowledge with other collegiate groups. Like the Invitationals prior, ITI can be an avenue through which groups can have facilitated and non-facilitated spaces for knowledge sharing and community building. In this time of mass community building and efforts to connect with one another, this event will allow players and groups to bridge knowledge gaps, learn new histories, and bring back and share new skills with their own groups.
Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, this year we will not have a concert that is open to the public. However, it will be an amazing opportunity for collegiate taiko groups to perform for each other in a community space!
In the spirit of this being the first year back after the COVID-19 pandemic, our theme is Hisashiburi! We have been fortunate enough to recruit the legendary talents of San Jose Taiko, UnitOne, Shasta Taiko, Kinnara Taiko, and many more. It is an incredible opportunity that Bakuhatsu and Raijin are very excited to collaborate on, however, this is quite the endeavor for us to organize this year.
If you have the means, please consider donating to the ITI 2023 GoFundMe! Our funds are going towards booking facilities, paying instructors and for their accommodations, along with hospitality charges such as catering. If we exceed the goal of $10,000, funds will roll over for next year's ITI. The link is LIVE NOW and we appreciate any and all donations to help us have the means to host this unique event. We can't thank you enough!