After our last performance at SummerSounds, we got in our cars and drove straight up to Mt. Shasta for ShastaYama. A long 10 hour drive up I-5 in 110 degree weather, we arrived around midnight and checked in Eien, Sumie, and Abe into their hotel. I went to my parents’ with my wife, Courtney (who is the best for supporting me and On over the years), and Shoji went home to his parents’. We all got a few hours of sleep and then had a morning tech rehearsal. The weather was starting to get nice and toasty. Close to 100 degrees!
Nevertheless, ShastaYama was magical as always. This year, Shasta Taiko, Taiko Trekkers, Tadaima (my mom and dad’s jazz group with Gary Fitzgerald), Steve Cervantes, and Unit Souzou performed and we closed the show. It’s always the best to perform for the home crowd!
ShastaYama will always make me emotional because it’s home! My mom and dad, Jeanne and Russel, obviously mean a lot to me, and to pull ShastaYama off for 10 plus years is quite a feat. Plus, it means I get to perform with them, my bro, Shoji, my wife, and some of the best people and musicians in the world. I will always treasure these memories that have built up over the years.
We also had a photo shoot in the beautiful countryside of Mt. Shasta. I’m looking forward to seeing the results. Stay tuned!
After the photo shoot, Abe and Courtney drove back to LA, Eien dropped Sumie off at the Medford airport on the way back to Portland, and Shoji and I are staying to work on some new material.
It was a great tour. Full of awesome music, beer, food, and company. Thanks to all for helping us along the way!
Getting some dinner and hanging out with bears and a statue of sasquatch at Granzella’s!
Circling up before the show.
Me and my mom!
Dad on the sax.
A view of the audience.
On Ensemble takes the stage!
Abe and Sumie hanging out at the photo shoot!