Sado Island to host annual Earth Celebration music festival Aug 21-23

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Earth Celebration is an international music festival held by the taiko drumming ensemble Kodo. The festival has been held annually since 1988 under the theme “Tataku” (to beat a rhythm) at Kodo’s home, Sado Island, Niigata. This year, it will be held again Aug 21-23.

Every year, between 5,000 and 10,000 visitors come to see the festival. Many of these visitors come year after year, and one in five are non-Japanese. The event's main venues are a park on top of a hill, the precincts of a shrine, an oceanfront park, and a traditional shopping street in the Ogi district of Sado City, where the residents live in harmony with nature.

During the festival, visitors can stroll through the nostalgic old-style streets, and the oceanfront park is packed with small stalls selling ethnic handicrafts. The festival brings a unique and international atmosphere to the district.

The Earth Celebration Committee was awarded the Furusato Event Award (2008, by Japan Center for Regional Development) and the Tiffany Foundation Award for the Preservation of Japanese Traditional Arts and Culture in Contemporary Society (2009).

Shiroyama Concerts

On Friday, the Shiroyama Concerts will raise the curtain with festive “Kodo Night.” On Saturday, don’t miss Leonard Eto’s return to EC for the first time in eighteen years to direct and perform, reuniting with both Suar Agung and Kodo on the Shiroyama stage. Then on Sunday, all three artists will band together under the theme “Tataku to beat a rhythm,” shaking the earth with powerful beats and grooves in the finale, ”Shukusai / Celebration.”

Aug 21(Fri)“Kodo Night” Open 17:15 / Start 18:30

Artistic director: Tsuyoshi Maeda (Kodo)

Featuring: Kodo The annual Earth Celebration kicks off with Kodo Night. The ensemble of 34 performers, including veteran drummers to junior members will flourish the magnetism of Kodo with the abandon of the outdoor stage. The Shiroyama Concerts have been the home to countless sounds and smiles. Come revel in the Kodo x Shiroyama rhythm that will reverberate across the Sado earth and night sky.

Aug. 22 (Sat) “Honey Moon” Open 17:15 / Start 18:30 Artistic director: Leonard Eto

Featuring: Suar Agung, Leonard Eto with Kodo Offering heartfelt prayers and thanks to the earth, the curtain opens on the second night with Suar Agung. For the first time in 18 years, Leonard Eto comes to the stage on Shiroyama, joined by the current members of Kodo for an evening of thrilling improvisation. It will be a special evening of performances hurtling towards the future. Join us in experiencing this Honeymoon.

Aug. 23 (Sun) “Shukusai / Celebration” Open 17:15 / Start 18:30 Artistic director: Mitsuru Ishizuka(Kodo)

Featuring: Kodo, Leonard Eto, Suar Agung Reunion, and the final evening after the eve of the honeymoon. Jegog from the Island of the Gods and the sounds of the taiko will shake the grounds of the Festival offering prayers and celebration to the earth. Three special guests collaborate to create a performance for the future. Don’t miss the moment when “the Earth becomes one on Sado Island.”

Daily Ticket: 5,200 yen in advance (5,500 yen on day) Students (Age 15–24): 3,500 yen in advance (3,800 yen on day) Children (14 & under): Free

Workshops & Seminar

EC workshops (WS) & seminars provide participants with the opportunity to play music and experience the magic of various styles of folk performing arts. This year, two highlights on the line-up include a brand-new workshop, “Minami Katabe Ontaiko,” and a seminar related to our guest artist from Bali, Suar Agung, featured at the Shiroyama Concert.

© Japan Today

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Saw Kodo twice in Yokohama in the early 1990s. Best two live concerts I've ever seen.

Wanted to go to Sado Island for the Earth Celebration 20 years ago. Was in Niigata last week too. But now work!!!

Well, there's always next year ... with or without Leonard Eto.

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