Shasta Taiko Presents Free Performance by Tadaima at Pop’s July 6
Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer are known in northern California as leaders and founders of Shasta Taiko and are recognized nationally for pioneering taiko – Japanese drum – in America. On Saturday, July 6, 7 pm at Pop’s Performing Arts & Cultural Center in Dunsmuir, Shasta Taiko presents Russel and Jeanne’s music ensemble, Tadaima, featuring jazz artists drummer Kenji Kato and bassist Greg Potter. The event is free to the public and sponsored by Shasta Taiko.
Russel’s work on saxophone and flutes has received favorable reviews in national music publications – DownBeat, Musician, Jazz Times, CODA, and Options magazines. Jeanne is known for her exquisite touch, beautiful sound, and an open creative approach to taiko.
“We love group taiko, the physical movement, the choreography, and the spirit and spectacle of large and loud drumming as well as exposing taiko through community classes. We do however have other sides as artists and people. We hope to explore other areas for taiko to expand in or vice versa…for music like jazz to include taiko and other music. So we’re not only exposing taiko to America, but we also hope to pioneer taiko in other areas – in our case, jazz and world music influences.” says Baba.
Russel Baba is known as an innovative musician and for creative compositions. He has toured and recorded winds with jazz artists drummer Eddie Moore, violinist Michael White, and pianist Andrew Hill, and taiko and winds with Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, San Jose Taiko, On Ensemble, and Jeanne Mercer.
Jeanne Mercer has performed taiko with Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, San Jose Taiko, and On Ensemble. Her work has contributed to movie soundtracks Star Wars and The Right Stuff. She has performed and recorded original music with Eddie Moore, Michael White, Russel Baba, Masato Baba, and Shoji Kameda.
Kenji Kato is a versatile drummer who has performed with Gary Burton, Merle Haggard, Larry Mitchell, Roy Hargrove, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mark Gross, Mark Whitfield, Warren Hill, Antonio Hart, Mark Cooper, Chuck Epperson, and Greg Potter. Kenji received both the Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams Awards where he graduated from the Berklee College of Music.
Bassist Greg Potter has toured worldwide and has performed with Stan Kenton and The Entertainers. He has recorded with Bruce Hornsby and for the Disney studios. He also plays guitar and drums. Locally he plays with Marc Cooper, Kenji Kato, Chuck Epperson, and Sharp 11.
Jeanne adds, “We’re excited to have the opportunity to play some original music with some exceptional artists. This open approach is not so common in taiko. A smaller ensemble of musicians allows for spontaneity and musical ideas to flow. It’s really challenging, fun, and creative.”
“Tadaima’ is the traditional greeting when one comes home in Japan. It means “I’m here, I’m pressent, I’m home.” says Russel. “Tadaima has performed before at the ShastaYama Taiko Festival with various guest artists. The Festival presented a variety of taiko artists and groups with each act having only a limited time to perform. At Pop’s, Tadaima will be featured, allowing time for the music to go deeper and for me, more centered.”
Tadaima is sponsored by Shasta Taiko. There is no door charge – FREE Donations are accepted. Pop’s – 5819 Sacrameneto Ave. popsdunsmuir.com Tadaima – russelbaba.com
June 18, 2019
Shasta Taiko Presents Free Performance by Tadaima
Pop’s Performing Arts Center & Cultural Center
5819 Sacramento Ave.
Saturday, July 6
Music Performance byTadaima (I’m here, I’m present, I’m home)
Russel Baba – flutes, saxophone, taiko, percussion
Jeanne Mecer – taiko, percussion
Kenji Kato – drum set, percussion
Greg Potter – bass
Sponsored by Shasta Taiko