What will you witness? A moving performance exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum.
Experience the intensity, the elegance, and the sheer physical prowess of Japan’s leading taiko drumming ensemble. Drums did more than make music in Japanese tradition. They were valuable tools found at every shrine. They marked the physical and metaphorical edge of a village. If you could hear them beat, you were part of the community. Kodo has lived this principle for 30 years, using thundering, soothing sounds that turn audiences into one big village from Asia to South America.
“The drum is a ritual tool in Japan, played whenever a community needs to come together…If Kodo can bring drums and travel around the world and deliver the sound of drums there, we can unite the people who hear the sound and make them part of a community,” says Kodo member Jun Akimoto.
Recently named a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government, Kodo artistic director and Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando brings a brand-new performance that includes new visual flair alongside its high-energy percussion, elegant music, dance, and the striking physical prowess needed to sustain a precise yet powerful sound.
Program Book [PDF]
Known for its unique interweaving of committed lifestyle, musical mastery, and vibrant traditions, Kodo has been continually touring under the banner “One Earth Tour” since holding a 6-month world tour in 1984. This theme embodies Kodo’s desire to transcend language and cultural boundaries and remind people of the common bond we all share as human beings.
This performance marks Kodo’s 23rd appearance under UMS auspices. Formed in 1981, the ensemble made its UMS debut on their first North American tour in October 1982. Kodo last appeared at Hill Auditorium in February 2011.
Related UMS Education & Community Engagement Events
1/28: UMS Night School Session 5: Global Beats in the Aisles
2/2: Hill Auditorium Celebration