Press Releases




Release April 2011



What: ShastaYama 2011 – 7th Annual Festival of Japanese drumming, dance, and music
When: Saturday, July 30, 2011, 6 p.m. Gate opens at 5 p.m.
Where: Shastice Park (Rockfellow & Adams Drive), Mt. Shasta, CA

ShastaYama: Taiko Mountain Rhythms

In the alpine beauty of northern California at the base of majestic Mount Shasta, a cultural phenomenon has taken hold – ShastaYama, Shasta Taiko’s festival of Japanese taiko drumming, dance, and music -- merges art and nature to uplift spirits and celebrate life.

ShastaYama festival favorites Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe, will present their elegant and electrifying taiko and dance as members of this year’s featured guest artists, Portland Taiko. Portland Taiko’s innovative style has placed them on the national stage from Hawaii to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Joining Shasta Taiko at ShastaYama is Masato Baba, the son of Shasta Taiko leaders Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer. “Masato’s dynamic talent and artistry places him at the forefront of a new taiko generation, and he is a large part of ShastaYama’s inspiration, appeal, and success,” says Jeanne.

ShastaYama 2011 is honored to present Oregon Poet Laureate and American Book Award recipient Lawson Fusao Inada, whose eloquent performance of the spoken word will add new dimensions to the total experience of ShastaYama.

Stanford Taiko is a creative young taiko ensemble leading a growing national collegiate taiko movement. “One of ShastaYama’s visions is to encourage and showcase developing talent, and the festival is excited to present Stanford Taiko in 2011,” says Russel Baba.

Bringing a fresh and unique spirit to ShastaYama and Shasta Taiko is Kris Bergstrom. Kris has gained a reputation for exploring new directions for taiko. He is a member of On Ensemble and TaikoProject and a former member of this year’s festival guests, Stanford Taiko.

Shasta Taiko will be celebrating its 26th year by presenting their 7th annual ShastaYama Festival in Mount Shasta’s Shastice Park. Performing members are from Shasta Taiko’s community program taught by founders Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer and will be performing all original material by the artists.

Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer are recognized pioneering leaders who bring a new creativity and a legacy of taiko that has reached across the country influencing the next generation of taiko artists.

ShastaYama 2011 will be held on July 30, Saturday, at 6 p.m. at Mount Shasta’s Shastice Park – Rockfellow and Adams Drive. The gate opens at 5 p.m. and food and refreshments will be available.

Tickets will be available by June 1 and are priced at $25 (age 18 & up), $20 (age 13-17), $15 (age 5-12), and Free for age 4 and under. Ticket outlets are: Village Books and at Soul Connections in Mt. Shasta, Bogbean Books & Music in Redding, Yreka Chamber of Commerce, and at the gate. For credit card purchase call (800)926-4865 ext. 203 and online at

Bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating on the grass, and warm clothes and flashlights are advised after sunset. No pets or glass, please.

For more information, check out or call (530) 859-8686.

ShastaYama is sponsored by Shasta Taiko – Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer, Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce, and Mt. Shasta Recreation District.