Kodo, the Taiko drumming pioneers from Japan, to share the wondrous and sacred “Mystery”

that lies deep within Japanese folk arts with audiences of all ages throughout North America.


Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery, the second work created by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando, revered kabuki icon and a National Living Treasure of Japan, will be on tour across the U.S. and Canada from January through March 2015.

The Chicago Tribune declares, “Superlatives don’t really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo,” while The New York Times raves, “Kodo reminds its audience that, above all, its music is a matter of flesh and blood, wood and stretched skin. Kodo can raise the roof, but the group can also show extraordinary finesse.”

Taking Kodo to yet another dimension, this new work transcends the real world to enter one where sacred beasts appear. This theatrical experience, which combines high energy percussion and dance, will take the audience on a journey into darkness, to a place that conjures the centuries-old spirit of the Japanese people and their indigenous nature. Through the virtuosity of Kodo, the Mystery will unfold in this spectacular new production.

“This time, I created a piece with the idea that theatre-goers would experience the mood of mystery that one experiences at a temple or a shrine, or when you go into the forest - places that are removed from daily life. A feeling that emerges from deep darkness,” says artistic director Tamasaburo Bando. “While it’s a drum concert, playing as only drums can play, we’ve added plenty of visuals as well,” he adds.

Kodo has seen a departure from its traditional costume styles and musical direction since Tamasaburo Bando took the helm as full-time artistic director in 2012. Mystery represents a future evolution of the group’s new expressions and promises to capture the imagination of both seasoned and first-time viewers alike to uncharted artistic territory.

Since the group's debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo's ongoing "One Earth Tour" has brought the experience of the taiko to 46 countries around the world for close to 4,000 total performances. Spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third resting and preparing new material on Sado Island, Kodo strives to both preserve and reinterpret traditional Japanese performing arts as they develop new styles that transcends all genres and borders. Since 1988, the group has had the pleasure of inviting artists they have met in their travels back to their home of Sado Island to engage in unprecedented musical collaborations at the troupe’s annual international music festival.

In Japanese the word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: Firstly, "heartbeat" the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko is said to resemble a mother's heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations. Secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean "children of the drum," a reflection of Kodo's desire to play the drums simply, with the heart of a child.


      Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery 2015 North American tour dates are as follows:

January 28

Bellingham, WA

Mount Baker Theatre

January 29

Vancouver, BC

Queen Elizabeth Theatre

January 31- February 2

Berkeley, CA

Cal Performances

February 3

Los Angeles, CA

Walt Disney Concert Hall

February 4

Santa Barbara, CA

University of California, Santa Barbara Arts & Leisure

February  6

La Jolla, CA

La Jolla Music Society

February 8

Tucson, AZ

UA Presents

February 10

Mesa, AZ

Mesa Arts Center

February 12

Las Vegas, NV

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts

February 15

Dallas, TX

Live at the Music Hall 

February 17

Tyler, TX

The Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center

February 19

Austin, TX

Austin Theatre Alliance

Febriary 20

San Antonio, TX

Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

February 22

Manhattan, KS

McCain Auditorium

February 24

Lawrence, KS

Lied Center of Kansas

February 26

Germantown, TN

Germantown Performing Arts Center

February 28

Richmond, KY

EKU Center for the Arts

March 3

Rochester, NY

Eastman School of Music

March 5

Quebec, QC

Grand Theatre de Quebec

       March 7               

Montreal, QC

Place des Arts

March 9

Ottawa, ON

National Arts Centre

March 12

Toronto, ON

Sony Center for the Performing Arts

March 14

Urbana, IL

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

March 16

Chicago, IL

Symphony Center Presents

March 19-21

New York, NY

Brooklyn Academy of Music

March 24

Newport News, VA

Ferguson Center for the Arts

March 26

Savannah, GA

Savannah Music Festival

March 28

Atlanta, GA

Rialto Center for the Arts

March 29

Athens, GA

UGA Performing Arts

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