Masato (Maz) Baba - Guest Artist

Masato is considered one of America's most outstanding taiko talents. He began taiko training at the age of 6 when his parents, Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer, founded Shasta Taiko.

As a member of Shasta Taiko, he gained the valuable experience performing, teaching, and touring throughout his formative years.

Masato polished and refined his taiko skills for over 7 years touring world-wide with renowned American Taiko Master Kenny Endo. He also served as the Youth Director of Endo's Taiko Center of the Pacific based in Honolulu.

Baba studied taiko in Japan with Nihon Taiko Dojo and fue (Japanese bamboo flute) with Kyosuke Suzuki of the Wakayama School.

Masato Baba has emerged as one of the most respected taiko artists in America. He is a pivotal member of highly acclaimed ON Ensemble. Masato is an original member of TAIKOPROJECT, served as their Musical Director and is now the Artistic Director of the multimedia theater company. Maz also is the lead instructor for several Los Angeles based taiko groups. Baba was also the lead coordinator of the successful "World Taiko Gathering" held in Los Angeles in 2014.

Baba was featured in the DVD "Spirit of Taiko," a history of American taiko that focuses on 3 American taiko generations represented by Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, Kenny Endo, and Masato Baba. Masato has performed at the 2009 Acadamy Awards, on The Voice, and with Alicia Keyes on "The X Factor".

Masato Baba is influencing and inspiring the growth of taiko, performing and conducting workshops across the country and around the world. With his parents, Masato is helping to establish and develop ShastaYama's growing reputation.

ShastaYama 2007 Photo: Gary Ono