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Earth Celebration music festival brings together Kodo Taiko Ensemble and The Voices of South Africa


From August 18-20, the lush island of Sado in Niigata Prefecture will once again resound with the beat of taiko drums, song, dance, and (for the first time since 2019) the joyful voices of international guests and performers.

Hosted by the world-renowned taiko drum ensemble Kodo and Sado City, Earth Celebration is one of Japan’s longest running music festivals, a 36-year tradition which attracts music lovers from all across Japan and the world to Sado Island, just an hour or so by ferry from Niigata City.

For members of Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble, taiko is a way of life. Before the pandemic the drummers spent two thirds of the year touring, performing in packed concerts both in Japan and overseas. The rest of the time the troupe lives on Sado, practicing and developing new works that show just how powerful these deceptively simple looking drums can be. Their dedication to their craft comes through in each energetic, mesmerizing performance, with intricate rhythms booming from drums that sometimes reach over one meter in diameter.

However, Earth Celebration goes beyond taiko, as each year the group invites musicians from around the world to perform at the Harbour Market stage, bringing together international artists through the power of music. For the 2023 edition, the Kodo drummers will be collaborating with The Voices of South Africa acapella group, a happy reunion of the two talented ensembles, who first performed together at a sold-out concert in Belgium in 2020.

In addition to nightly concerts on the main stage, during the three-day festival visitors can also experience a myriad of smaller events, such as traditional Sado performing arts at Kisaki Shrine, music and dance workshops, and tours of the many beautiful sights of the remote island.

Tickets for this triumphant return of the music festival in its original form will go on sale on June 15. For more information and booking: https://www.earthcelebration.jp/en

You can also get regular updates via Facebook by following the festival’s official page: https://www.facebook.com/EarthCelebration

Image: Kota Yoshida
© Japan Today

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What a way to celebrate Earth, music from two continents. Can't get much more 'Earthy' than this.

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So glad to see EC back in full force post-Covid!

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Sado is also home to taiko drummers. Kodō (鼓童) is a professional taiko drumming troupe.

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Kodo "Prologue, Yumitori"


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