ShastaYama is Shasta Taiko's annual summer outdoor taiko and music festival in Mount Shasta's Shastice Park at the base of majestic Mount Shasta.

ShastaYama's vision is to establish a major festival that combines high quality arts presentation with the natural beauty of the Mount Shasta area.

Shasta Taiko - ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Gary Ono

ShastaYama's vision is to present a wide variety of musicians and taiko artists and further the development of the arts by encouraging original works as well as support and showcase younger artists.

Shasta Taiko - ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Jim Gilmore

ShastaYama provides exposure to inspirational guest artists while giving focus and valuable experience for Shasta Taiko students and the community.

Chizuko Endo & Kenny Endo - ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Gary Ono

With sponsorship from Shasta Mountain Playhouse, Russel Baba and Jeanne Mercer established a successful local annual formal taiko show, Shasta Taiko In Concert in 1996 at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California.

Masato Baba - ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Gary Ono

In 2005 the sell-out Shasta Taiko In Concert series expanded successfully outdoors to Mount Shasta's Shastice Park and was renamed ShastaYama.

Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka & San Francisco Taiko Dojo - ShastaYama 2006
Photo: Bob Morris

Guest artists are recognized as leading American taiko artists - Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka and San Francisco Taiko Dojo, American Taiko Master Kenny Endo, San Jose Taiko, On Ensemble, TaikoProject, Portland Taiko, Jun Daiko, Somei Yoshino Taiko Ensemble, Stanford Taiko, Masato Baba, Shoji Kameda, Michelle Fujii, Toru Watanabe, Kris Bergstrom, and Yuta Kato, as well as Alaskan Native Yup'ik Eskimo drum, song, and dance group, Pamyuaa.

Michelle Fujii, Toru Watanabe - ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Jim Gilmore

ShastaYama is a way of creating a celebration of life and a healthy positive event involving the Mount Shasta community as well as a greater taiko and arts community.

ShastaYama Odori (dance) - ShastaYama 2008
Photo: Tom Pava

Shoji Kameda, Masato Baba, Kris Bergstrom - On Ensemble - ShastaYama 2008
Photo: Tom Pava

ShastaYama mission is to create an atmosphere where music and art, tradition and creativity are honored, encouraged, and presented with care, respect, and love.

Sam Jose Taiko - ShastaYama 2005
Photo: Jim Gilmore

ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Jim Gilmore

Review Quotes - Shasta Taiko and ShastaYama

ShastaYama 2012
Photo: Karrie Ann Snure

"The entire Shasta Taiko performance was more than anything a discussion, a discussion of the ability to blend cultures while still remaining distinct in each culture's identity. Their performance was a powerful, yet very gentle, call for peace and understanding..."
- Nikkei West
- Hokubei Mainichi News

"Drumming around the Mountain for 20 years...a Japanese American couple brought taiko's ancient rhythms to sleepy Mount Shasta, changing themselves and the town."
- Los Angeles Times

"...original arrangement of traditional taiko rhythms...individual solos of impressive complexity and imagination amid a clean, well crafted ensemble texture."
- San Francisco Chronicle

"Shasta Taiko...pushed the bounds of traditional music, bringing a new creativity that will carry taiko into the next generation...fashioning a new cultural and artistic tradition."
- Anchorage Daily News

ShastaYama 2007
Photo: Steve Gerace

"Shasta Taiko blends music, movement, and spirituality...When spirit can't be put into words, it takes the form of "taiko."
- Redding Record Searchlight

"The sounds of Shasta Taiko drew rave reviews...The show sold out in advance and concert-goers cheered loudly throughout the night...a most memorable performance...riveting...powerful..."
- Southern Siskiyous News

"(Shasta Taiko's community) activities have enriched the lives of countless local children and adults who take taiko lessons, as well as the lives of those of us who have seen them play, or heard the special guests."
- Mount Shasta Herald

"At times thunderous, at times sublime...Shasta Taiko's concert packed the house...with appreciative fans of all ages. Performers drew loud and numerous rounds of applause."
- Dunsmuir News

"For pure energy, excitement, creativity, and enjoyment, Shasta Taiko's concerts are something not to be missed."
- After Five (Redding, CA)

Masato Baba, Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, Yuta Kato - ShastaYama 2006
Photo: Bob Hsiang