LSM Newswire

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Phenomenal skill and ferocity: YAMATO DRUMMERS OF JAPAN -- Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 8 PM / Massey Hall / Toronto

“Phenomenal skill and ferocity somewhere between the seriousness of samurai
and the crazed exhibitionism of heavy-metal rock drummers.” – The Telegraph (UK)

Yamato Drummers of Japan
Matsuri / Fiesta – 2009/2010 World Tour
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 8 PM / Massey Hall / Toronto
$69.50 - $49.50 - Call 416-872-4255 or online at
Or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Toronto, ON. November 17, 2009 – The YAMATO DRUMMERS OF JAPAN bring their breathtaking blend of ancient and modern percussion artistry to Massey Hall on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. as part of their “Matsuri: Fiesta” 2009-2010 World Tour.

The word Matsuri translates as “traditional Japanese festival” and comes from Matsuru, which means “praying to the higher spirits.” The rituals of the festival –– from giving thanks for a bountiful harvest to praying for good health and peace –– were called Matsuri, and the traditional Japanese taiko drum would always be found at the heart of every Matsuri gathering.

Founded in 1993 by artistic director Masa Ogawa in Nara, Japan, Yamato’s 10-member troupe of men and women draw their inspiration from the warmth, tenderness and power of the heartbeat. Performing on Japan’s traditional taiko drums, the members of Yamato “put our very souls into these unusual instruments and our performances are infused with the idea that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life.” Performing on several dozen drums of various sizes, Yamato creates a wide range of sounds, rhythms and moods, from the delicate tapping of falling rain to explosions of rhythmic thunder. The members perform in authentic costumes and combine powerful and dramatic drumming with dance, flutes, theatrics and humour. Their exhilarating performances, as fascinating for the eye as for the ear, are described as “a dazzling display of dexterity, precision and physical endurance

Yamato’s world travels began in 1998 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they made their international debut and won the festival’s Spirit of Fringe award. They have since given over 1,500 performances throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. This is their fourth North American tour. To learn more about Yamato, visit

Taiko is a traditional Japanese art form that refers to both the drums and the physically demanding artistic discipline of ensemble drumming. Taiko is believed to have originated in ancient Japan thousands of years ago as a form of communication within villages to signal various activities and events, such as the beginning of a hunt or a storm approaching. As it is performed today, taiko is a relatively new phenomenon. The modern incarnation of the taiko drumming group was formed in Japan in the 1950s and has since become enormously popular. It is estimated that over 10,000 taiko groups have sprung up across Japan and North America in the last 50 years.



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