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Past

Jeanne Aiko Mercer

Jeanne is an honored and highly respected American taiko artist and pioneer.

Jeanne’s considerable artistic and technical skills are widely admired, and her compositions are noted for their creativity and challenging direction.

She founded Shasta Taiko in 1985 with Russel Baba and has dedicated her life to the teaching of the art, discipline, and philosophy of taiko.

Mercer started taiko training with Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka in 1972 and toured the world performing with San Francisco Taiko Dojo for over 10 years. Jeanne has also collaborated with American taiko artists Kenny Endo, San Jose Taiko, and On Ensemble.

Sponsored by the Mt. Shasta Recreation District, she and Russel have received numerous California Arts Council Artist in Residence grants and Multicultural Entry grants to offer taiko to the Mt. Shasta community, founding Shasta Taiko in 1985 and ShastaYama in 2005.

Jeanne and Russel were selected to lead the first Summer Taiko Institute in Los Angeles - a series of intensive workshops for young recognized taiko leaders throughout North America. Mercer and Baba also lead workshops for several national and regional conferences on taiko.

ShastaYama 2006 Photo: Bob Hsiang

Jeanne Mercer has performed and recorded taiko at various jazz venues with Russel and other artists such as drummers Art Blakey and Eddie Moore, violinist Michael White, and pianist Andrew Hill.

Mercer has also contributed to film soundtracks most notably - "Apocalypse Now" and "Star Wars." Jeanne is featured with Masato Baba in Russel Baba's recordings "Hisashi," "Tadaima," and "KorewaKorewa."