At The Lensic Feb. 23
KODO performs 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23 at The Lensic in Santa Fe. Courtesy/LPAC
Internationally renowned taiko performing arts ensemble KODO brings heart, history, and high-energy taiko drumming 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23 to The Lensic Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in Santa Fe.
Striving to both preserve and re-interpret traditional Japanese performing arts, KODO explores the limitless possibilities of the Japanese taiko drum. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, KODO has given more than 7,000 performances on five continents.
Director Yuichiro Funabashi states, “KODO One Earth Tour: Tsuzumi is the first production in a series of commemorative works we created for KODO’s 40th-anniversary celebrations in 2021. The theme of this work is our home base, Sado Island. With its lush nature and distinct history, this special place has been the starting point for KODO’s diverse local and international activities for the past four decades. Conjured and honed on Sado, KODO’s sound is like no other.”
Tsuzumi opens with an exceptional piece in the KODO ensemble’s history that is seldom performed on tour—” Dyu-Ha.” The late Maki Ishii, a modern composer introduced to KODO by conductor Seiji Ozawa, presented this piece to KODO as a gift to congratulate the ensemble on its debut in 1981. This will be the first time KODO has performed “Dyu-Ha” in North America since 1989. The 40th-anniversary tour program also features Ishii’s masterpiece “Monochrome” and other KODO signature pieces such as “O-daiko,” “Yatai-bayashi,” and “Zoku,” coupled with new compositions.
Ticket holders are invited to Program Notes at 6:30 p.m., a free pre-performance event with Jon Whitsell demonstrating and discussing various drums used in Taiko drumming. In addition to their mainstage performance, KODO will work with students at Santa Fe schools. Both initiatives are part of the Lensic’s performing arts education programs.
Tickets ($39–$79) are available at lensic.org, 505.988.1234, or in person, 211 W. San Francisco St.