YAMATO, the Drummers of Japan, Bring PASSION to 40 Cities in North America

By: Nov. 19, 2019
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YAMATO, the Drummers of Japan, Bring PASSION to 40 Cities in North America

From January 17 - April 21, 2020, YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan bring their "show of unbridled enthusiasm, much humour and great musical variety" (The Scotsman) to North America for a 40-city tour of JHONETSU - PASSION! This marks the Taiko troupe's 26th season, celebrating over 4,000 performances in 54 countries and reaching nearly 8 million people.

The modern and physically powerful troupe - comprised of dozens of musician-athletes - starts each performance by hitting a Japanese Taiko drum weighing half a ton, made from a single piece of wood from a 400-year-old tree. They move their whole bodies to strike the traditional Japanese instrument with the belief that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life and the epitome of the Japanese spirit.

Employing "vibrant and extremely precise" choreography, YAMATO's new program PASSION! has been deemed by London One "an exhilarating and worthwhile experience" and "quite a revelation for those experiencing this kind of dynamic performance for the first time." "Everything related to YAMATO - the stage, the Taiko drums, every bit of our bodies - has been created from the energy and passion of the audience," says Founder and Artistic Director Masa Ogawa. "Live performances are so full of intensity that they make people's bodies jump and their hearts race faster. Audiences are overwhelmed by the beat of the music, as their spirits, bodies and heartbeats are uplifted in sync with the powerful sounds. What moves YAMATO forward is its passion."

Since their formation, YAMATO has been committed to preserving and respecting the Taiko tradition, while infusing originality and innovation into the ancient practice. Notably, YAMATO broke from Taiko's long-standing patriarchy and has always included women in the troupe. And while the members train rigorously, YAMATO imbues each performance with joy and a sense of fun, breaking from the stereotypical stoicism associated with this ancient art form.

Founded in 1993 in Japan's Nara Prefecture and presently based in Asuka Village, said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture, YAMATO travels all over the word with Japan's traditional Taiko drums, putting its very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere. Over the past 26 years, the troupe has performed in 54 countries and regions, giving 4,000 performances for nearly eight million people. They travel with about 40 Taiko drums, ranging in size from 10kg to 500kg. The troupe lives within the Village and engages in daily strength training, instrument practice, and program rehearsal. Always evolving the potential while respecting the tradition, YAMATO is a modern and relevant ambassador for Taiko drumming and for the Japanese culture from which it derives.


1/17/2020 Harrisonburg, VA Forbes Center for the Performing Arts
1/19/2020 Bronx, NY Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
1/22/2020 Knoxville, TN Student Union at University of Tennessee
1/24/2020 Toronto, ON Roy Thomson Hall
1/30/2020 St Johnsbury, VT Lyndon Institute Auditorium
1/31/2020 Keene, NH Colonial Theater
2/1/2020 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
2/5/2020 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre Center
2/6/2020 Millersville, PA The Winter Center at Millersville University
2/7/2020 Huntingdon, PA Juniata College
2/8/2020 Rochester, NY Nazareth College Arts Center
2/9/2020 Ithaca, NY Bailey Hall at Cornell University
2/11/2020 Erie, PA Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center
2/13/2020 Buffalo, NY Buffalo State Performing Arts Center
2/15/2020 Flushing, NY Queens Theatre
2/16/2020 Flushing, NY Queens Theatre
2/20/2020 Charlottesville, VA The Paramount Theater
2/21/2020 Richmond, VA Altria Theater at Modlin Center for the Arts
2/23/2020 Davidson, NC Duke Family Performance Hall at Davidson
2/24/2020 Ashevillle, NC Diana Wortham Theatre
2/25/2020 Ashevillle, NC Diana Wortham Theatre
2/27/2020 Greenville, NC Wright Auditorium at East Carolina University
2/28/2020 Raleigh, NC Stewart Theatre at North Carolina State
3/5/2020 Des Moines, IA Des Moines Civic Center
3/8/2020 Cedar Falls, IA Gallagher Bluedorn Center
3/11/2020 Appleton, WI Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
3/12/2020 Madison, WI University of Wisconsin Union Theater
3/13/2020 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Performing Arts Center
3/15/2020 Wausau, WI The Grand Theater
3/18/2020 Conway, AR Reynolds Performance Hall
3/20/2020 San Antonio, TX Laurie Auditorium
3/21/2020 Galveston, TX 1890 Opera House
3/25/2020 Durango, CO Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College
3/28/2020 Cerritos, CA Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
3/29/2020 Northridge, CA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center
4/1/2020 Arcata, CA Arkley Center for Arts at Humboldt State
4/4/2020 Santa Barbara, CA Campbell Hall at UC Santa Barbara
4/5/2020 Davis, CA Mondavi Center
4/7/2020 Berkeley, CA Zellerbach Hall
4/9/2020 Modesto, CA Mary Stuart Rogers Theater at Gallo Center
4/13/2020 Bend, OR Tower Theatre
4/15/2020 Twin Falls, ID CSI Fine Arts Auditorium