Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer are taiko artists and founders of Mount Shasta’s Shasta Taiko. They will play together for a special “Tadaima” performance of “taiko kaze”- original music for woodwinds and taiko at POPS Performing Arts and Cultural Center, 5819 Sacramento Ave., in Dunsmuir on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 starting at 7 pm.
Joining them on taiko and flute will be their son, Masato Baba as well as other guest artists. Masato is a leading taiko artist who tours worldwide with top taiko ensembles and taiko artists. He has made appearances at the Academy Awards, with Alicia Keys on the X-Factor, and in the movie Redbelt.
Multi-instrumentalist Stephen Cervantes will also join the performance. Cervantes performed interludes for the last ShastaYama on Mexican and South American instruments and will also add bass guitar and flutes to the POPS performance.
Jeanne Mercer is an honored taiko pioneer, helping to establish modern taiko and inspiring generations of taiko players. She is known for impeccable skill, touch, and an open approach encouraging new directions for taiko music. Jeanne has contributed to movie soundtracks Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.
Russel Baba has received critical acclaim as a “unique woodwind stylist with a bright vibrant sound” and for originality in compositional writing in national music publications Downbeat Magazine, Musician Magazine, and Jazz Times.
Coda Magazine writes “Russel Baba has managed to endow his alto saxophone with the timbre and flexibility of a violin. His new sound is extra-ordinarily beautiful.” Option Magazine writes of Russel’s work “…there are strong conceptual elements. It is a direct music, not theoretical…very open and spiritual.”
Russel has toured and recorded saxophone and flutes with legendary jazz artists’ drummer Eddie Moore, violinist Michael White, and pianist Andrew Hill.
“A legacy has been passed on.” says Russel. “So I continue to play music in the tradition and celebration of the creative spirit to honor these influential artists. ‘Tadaima’ is the traditional Japanese announcement when one come home and means ‘I am here; I am present; I am home!,’ and I think the music reflects that. The artists of ‘Tadaima’ have traditional roots, but explore and create new ways to play music as modern artists.”f
Russel and Jeanne have performed “taiko kaze” (wind taiko) at ShastaYama, at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, for the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in Canada, the International Taiko Festival at UC Berkeley, for the Oakland Freedom Jazz Society, the Asian American Jazz Festival in San Francisco, Oregon’s World Beat Festival in Salem, and in Loa Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Theater, and the Cerritos Center as well as several appearances at POPS.
A $10 donation for the music presentation is being asked. For more information on Russel Baba, Jeanne Mercer, and Masato Baba or “Tadaima” go to russelbaba.com/tadaima.
Pops is very excited to host the Fourth Annual Norcal Jazz. Clarinet and saxophone virtuosos Will and Peter Anderson on Wednesday, October 19 at 7 pm. Advanced Tickets may be purchased for $10 online or at Dunsmuir Hardware in Dunsmuir and at the Fifth Season in Mt Shasta. They will be $15 at the door.
Joining these virtuoso Saxophone and Clarinet players is Alex Wintz on Guitar. This is not to be missed. These identical twins will ‘blow’ the room away with there beautiful melody and skills. This is one of those nights to bring young people to, and see what America’s Music
Pops is pleased to offer a special Gypsy Jazz Concert with Baltimore-based UltraFaux on Wednesday, July 27 at 7 :30 pm. Lunchbox Dinners for this show are Thai noodle salad with or without chicken. Order at email@example.com.
Must have 24 hour advance notice. All service, arrangements , payment are directly to Liza Wood.
UltraFaux performs original acoustic music with Romani, Manouche, swing, funk, blues, and musette influences. With two guitars and an upright bass, Sami Arefin and Michael Joseph Harris trade dazzling leads and harmonize together on rich gypsy-inspired melodies. The dynamic Eddie Hrybyk on upright bass holds down the steady swinging pulse and brings his passion for improvisation to the group. The musicians of Ultrafaux are also the core trio of Hot Club of Baltimore, a larger ensemble which features vocalist Alexis Tantau, specializing in the music of Django Reinhardt and early French Jazz.
Ultrafaux’s original song, Latcho Dromo was recently chosen by acclaimed producer of Hot Club Records, Jon Larsen to be featured on Django Festival #9, an international compilation of gypsy jazz music. Ultrafaux has been featured on WPFW, WTMD, WDVX Blue Plate Special, CBS News, in The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Style Magazine, to name a few. They have performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C., Charm City Django Jazz Festival, Creative Alliance, and the IMT Folk Series, and were recently chosen to perform at Django By The Sea in Maine, and the Midwest Gypsy Swing Festival in Madison Wisconsin.