Masato "Maz" Baba
Maz began studying taiko at the age of six under his parents, jazz musician Russel Baba and taiko drummer Jeanne Mercer, who were among the first members of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo. With Shasta Taiko, Maz has performed and helped teach workshops in Alaska, Oregon, and California and was featured on the album Spirit Drum - Taiko Stories from America. He was a lead member of the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble and was an instructor and director of the Youth Group at the Taiko Center of the Pacific in the late 90s. In 2000, he became one of the founding members of TAIKOPROJECT and in 2012, assumed the role of Artistic Director. He spearheaded TAIKOPROJECT's Surrounding Suns (2010) and Our Many Sides (2015) CD recordings and serves as the group's lead composer.