Press Releases




ShastaYama 2012

Drums heard 'round the world

Mount Shasta Herald, August 1, 2012
by Skye Kinkade

Shasta Taiko

People far and wide saw the 8th annual ShastaYama concert - some from the grassy lawns of Shastice Park, and others from various places around the world - thanks to a live streaming broadcast that was new this year.

Ayumi Pantell, former Shasta Taiko drummer and sister of Grammy Award nominee Shoji Kameda, watched ShastaYama streaming live from her home in Los Angeles Saterday afternoon.

"I wish I was there!" Pantell said as she watched the drumming with her daughters from her desktop computer.

Many who attended the show, featuring many of the premier American taiko artists on the West Coast, described it as exciting and fun-filled.

San Jose Taiko

One San Jose Taiko member since 1997, who writes a blog called "True Tall Taiko Tales," wrote Monday, "Watching Jeanne Mercer and Russel Baba perform on their home turf, with their group and their songs" was one of the most exciting parts of the show for him. "I can't really do justice in describing their energy or movements, it's just something you have to experience."

Shasta Taiko

Shasta Taiko board member Nancy Shigenaka said it was nice to see so many local people enjoying their first ShastaYama concert.

"it's always a very diverse group," Shigenaka said, "Of course, the venue can't be beat."

Shigenaka also commented that performer Masato Baba "has really honed his craft," and she enjoyed the entie show from start to finish.

Masato Baba

"I want to congratulate Mario, Jeanne and Russel for anothe successful show."

Shasta Taiko performer Wanda Welbourn said the entire event was "super fun from beginning to end... I'll probably take two weeks to recover from it. There was so much going on."

Wanda Welbourn

Welbourn said she has heard lots of good feedback about the live streaming of the show, though the people she talked to said watching it onscreen doesn't compare "to the high you get when your're really here."

Welbourn, who has been a member of Shasta Taiko since 1990, said organizers Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer "took (ShastaYama) a step farther this year," and especially enjoyed watching San Jose Taiko, with special guests Roy and PJ Hirabayashi.

PJ Hirabayshi

"They're professionals...they really show you how to put on a show." Welbourn said.

Art Kameda, father of three former Shasta Taiko members, said he really enjoyed this year's show.

"It's been awhile since I've seen San Jose Taiko, and I was pleased to see they're in good hands," Kameda said, explaining that since the Hirabayashis retirement, the group has been under new leadership.

"I was happy with what I saw," Kameda said. "I think this year's ShastaYama showed that there's growth in American Taiko."

In Appreciation: ShastaYama Success

The 8th Annual ShastaYama was a huge success, thanks to our local community, our Shasta Taiko supporters and volunteers, and the wonderful ShastaYama artists. Each year the presentations and the music achieve new levels of creativity and excellence. Everyone involved, from artists to audience, are truly inspired.

In addition to attracting another thousand attendees, ShsataYama 2012 offered "live streaming" on the internet, which has been getting a positive response from viewers in Japan and the United States. The "live streaming" was made possible by the concerted efforts of John Cumming, Shinya Suzuki, Snowcrest, and Mario Rubino. "Live streaming" has the potential to expose ShastaYama around the world and create interest in Mount Shasta and taiko as well. ShastaYama is special and valuable on many levels. The opportunity to establish an event of interest world-wide is here with ShastaYama.

ShastaYama and Shasta Taiko wish to thank the many community organizations, businesses, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers. ShastaYama is a remarkable event by a small alpine community, tying Mount Shasta, nature, taiko, and the the arts together to create something unique, truly special, and deserving attention world-wide.

Russel Baba & Jeanne Mercer - Shasta Taiko / ShastaYama

ShastaYama's vision and goals are to present taiko in an advantageous setting and encourage original works to further development of the art of taiko and music. Please check out the other pages on this site for more information on ShastaYama.

"At the ShastaYama Taiko Concert, set in Mt. Shasta's Shastice Park where the slopes of the towering mountain rise above you, the evening will provide a full sensory experience. As you sit gazing at the mountain, you'll feel the waves of sound pass through you when the performers a celebration of music and culture."
Renee Casterline, InsideOut Magazine

Shasta Taiko is a nonprofit public benefit corporation organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable purposes. The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are to introduce, teach, develop, promote, and preserve the art of taiko and related music and arts, thereby culturally enriching the community and artistically evolving the art. These purposes will be achieved through a community taiko program which includes ongoing classes; maintaining a performing group to give educational demonstrations and public performances; special workshops; guest artists; and an annual taiko festival.

"ShastaYama is the fruit of decades of taiko in Mt. Shasta, where (Russel) Baba and (Jeanne) Mercer have built a legacy of taiko that has reached across the country and influenced the next generation of taiko artists."
Renee Caterline, InsideOut Magazine

“We believe that one of mankind’s higher level of development is through music, art, and culture; and that cultural exchange and sharing will help to cut through ignorance, misunderstanding, and fear, helping to attain a higher consiousness for all. Attach:RusselJeanne.jpg?

The practice of art and music as a discipline liberates oneself by developing new skills, discovering different points of view, growing in self-expression, gaining confidence, and creating something to share with others while hopefully developing awareness, insight, understanding, and compassion”

Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer - founders of Shasta Taiko & ShastaYama