Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer, founders and leaders of Shasta Taiko and ShastaYama Taiko Festival, will perform original works for winds and taiko at Pops Performing Arts and Cultural Center in Dunsmuir, CA on Friday, May 16 at 8 pm. Russel and Jeanne are recognized artists in their own right, and their performance will be a fund raiser for the Shasta Taiko program and ShastaYama Festival.
Russel Baba’s distinctive sound on saxophone and flute and innovative approach in writing have opened opportunities to tour worldwide and record with jazz artists pianist Andrew Hill, violinist Michael White, and drummer Eddie Moore. Coda Magazine compares his saxophone sound “with the timbre and flexibility of a violin…[and] extraordinarily beautiful.” He is also known for introducing Asian influences to jazz and jazz influences to taiko.
Jeanne Mercer is recognized as an inspirational pioneer in the development of taiko in America. Her refined approach and sensitive touch are widely admired as well as her creative and challenging compositions. She has contributed to soundtracks of “Star Wars” and “Apocalypse Now” and performed taiko with jazz musicians Andrew Hill, Eddie Moore, Michael White, and Russel Baba.
Taiko has grown in popularity around the world. It is common to see and hear taiko on movies and commercials. Mount Shasta is blessed to have the unique gifts of taiko. Baba and Mercer blend their unique backgrounds to create new and innovative directions for music and taiko.
A special appearance by Shasta Taiko performing “Yama” is also planned as a preview to the exciting upcoming ShastaYama Taiko Festival scheduled for July 26 this year. Concert goers will have an opportunity to win tickets to ShastaYama 2014..
A $5 cover charge. First come, First Served. Pops Performing Arts and Cultural Center is located in the heart of Historic Dunsmuir, across from the Amtrak Train Station, at 5819 Sacramento Avenue. Pops is a venue for performing, literary and visual from the local community and surrounding regions whose mission is “to foster awareness and appreciation of the arts, bringing people together and enriching lives through the exploration of culture, creativity while promoting a more peaceful world.” See www.popsdunsmuir.com for more venue information. For more on artists Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer and Shasta Taiko, see www.shastataiko.org. Shasta Taiko is a non-profit organization.