Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant and living art form. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given over 6,500 performances on all continents, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third rehearsing and preparing new material on Sado Island. In their first commemorative work, Tsuzumi, Kodo performs “Dyu-Ha,” one of their earliest pieces, on tour for the first time in 15 years. The late Maki Ishii, a modern composer who was introduced to Kodo by conductor Seiji Ozawa, presented this piece to Kodo as a gift to congratulate the ensemble on its debut in 1981. Tsuzumi will also feature Ishii’s masterpiece “Monochrome” and other Kodo signature pieces such as “O-daiko,” “Yatai-bayashi” and “Zoku,” coupled with new compositions. This celebration of 40+ years traces the group’s origins back to the beginning. Tsuzumi will also serve as a cornerstone for Kodo’s next ground-breaking chapter.
“Indeed, if there is such a thing as perfection in music, Kodo comes as near to it as any group in the world.”–THE BOSTON GLOBE