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YOUNG PARK - Artistic Director


Young was born in South Korea and immigrated to Boston Massachusetts when she was 7-years old. She began studying music (viola) at the age of ten, attending New England Conservatory, Prep Division and Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. She attended Eastman School of Music and then transferred to Oberlin College, where she also studied modern dance. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Music from Oberlin College, she pursued further music and dance studies at University of Michigan, where she received her master’s degree.  In 1992, she co-founded SAFMOD (Cleveland, OH), a multi-disciplinary performing arts group that focused on the creation of original dance, music and visual art. As Artistic Director of SAFMOD from 1993-2004, she created numerous original dance choreography, influenced by movement styles like Butoh, Contact Improv, capoeira and stilting. She joined RAW Taiko in 2007, became Artistic Director in 2017. She is also the Festival Director of Toronto Taiko Festival.

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MILA NATASHA MENDEZ - Managing Director

Mila Natasha Mendez (they/them) is a Black Chinese queer parent, cultural worker, doctoral candidate and educator who is invested in transformative relationships, spaces and ideas that centre radical collectivity and refuse the values of capitalism. They find joy and grounding in the capaciousness of Black feminisms to show us what care can do. Mila has been working to cultivate a careful and caring approach to the labour that is envisioning and administrating at the intersection of art and/for anti-oppressive transformations in Tkaronto. They are grateful for the opportunity to do this work in RAW, through a directorial mentorship with Young Park.


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WY JOUNG KOU - Operations Manager


Wy Joung Kou is an interdisciplinary artist and performer interested in co-creation, multi-sensory artwork, and disability justice. Wy-J stumbled into taiko 6 years ago and immediately felt they were home. Drumming with RAW has allowed them to cultivate a deeper sense of belonging; a steady comfort in the drum; a confidence in being; a commitment to doing challenging things; an accountability to the people, instruments, and practices they are fortunate to return to again and again. Off the drum, Wy-J can be found enjoying life as a wife, auntie, sibling, quirky neighbour, and personal chef to the two cats and one dog who run their life.

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Adrienne Mak is a practitioner & lover of Traditional East Asian Medicine, musician & dreamer. Their healing work centres around providing personal care that builds collective care & collective power. As a person with longstanding connections to multiple musical practices, Adrienne continues to use music to pursue moments of connection with themself, other humans, and with spirits and the natural universe. Music and medicine play a huge part in their everyday life, and through personal practices of both, Adrienne strives to build connection and community, in an effort to resist, reimagine and dismantle.

@earthseaacupuncture /

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Jody Chan (they/them) is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, community organizer, and care worker based in Toronto/Tkaronto. For Jody, drumming is a way of practicing rigorous connection and disciplined care. They believe community is an action. They believe in radical imagination as a learnable and necessary skill. They believe in a world beyond borders, beyond war, beyond the colonial dreams of empire and capital-- from Turtle Island to Palestine. They believe in collective liberation.

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Stephenie Hui (she/her) is a Chinese-Canadian mother, wife, sister, daughter, and good friend. She divides her time with her family and friends, working in the Toronto tech industry, and RAW. Stephenie loves discovering new hiking trails, immersing herself in nature, playing ultimate frisbee, and trying out new recipes & board games. RAW provides Stephenie the space to represent her best self. She hopes RAW will inspire and help others to do the same.

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Rae is a community mental health worker and group facilitator currently completing her studies in social work. Throughout her drumming apprenticeship, Rae's main goal has been to learn and perform from a place of vulnerability, curiosity and unconditional high regard. She's extremely happy to have found a home in the RAW studio and team and is committed to breaking down barriers that separate individuals and communities from their own homes of land, culture and each other. Apart from her fellow RAW apprentices and members, Rae's artistic inspirations also include her chosen family, who she looks up to as mentors and co-conspirators in social action and collective care.

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Yang Chen (they/them) is a percussionist with many side-hustles who prioritizes collaboration, personal growth, and joy. Yang is a grateful nexus of playful curiosity, cross disciplinary yearning, classical training, and loving relationships. All of which influence process & product within their work. // @yango.bongo

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Courtney Ayukawa is a Yonsei (4th generation Japanese Canadian) who works in the public sector. Born and raised in New Jersey as the eldest of three daughters by a Malaysian-Chinese mother and Canadian-Japanese father, RAW has been an opportunity for her to further connect with her mixed Asian heritage. Home has many meanings for her, and all definitions include family and friends. She's ever grateful for the RAW community which pushes her to be principled, authentic, strong, and caring. In her spare time, Courtney likes to eat food in Scarborough, walk with her dog Boomer, and cook for loved ones.

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D Badua is a trans, nonbinary, first-generation Filipinx human and creative gallivanting in and around Tkaronto. Outside of their 9-5 job, they are a singer, musician, music producer, audio engineer, dancer, and choreographer. D was introduced to RAW at a time where they were actively seeking communities that aligned with their interests, politics, and values. Since joining in 2021, drumming has become a grounding practice for them, giving them the space and opportunity to channel their emotions through a combination of their artistic curiosities in a space where they can loudly exist and comfortably grow.

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Victoria Chu

Alice Te

Laura Coramai

Brenda Joy Lem

JoAnne Kim

Shelly Sawada

Suzanne Liska

Suzy Yim

Helen Luu

Miki Kato

Yuri Narula

Flo Li

Amy Lin

Christine Kim

Karen BK Chan

Virginia Hung

Elvie Choi

Annika Ollner

Izumi Sakamoto

Catherine Loa

Jayd Matyas

Weijia Feng

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