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Friday, February 11, 2011

Last modified: Friday, February 11, 2011

IU Auditorium presents Japanese drumming group Kodo Feb. 25

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WHAT: Kodo
WHEN: Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium
TICKETS: $17-$39 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID, and $35-$45 for general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Feb. 11, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.-- Legendary drumming group Kodo will fill the IU Auditorium with rhythm and virtuosity Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. as part of its 30th Anniversary One Earth Tour.

In Japanese, the word "kodo" means both "heartbeat" and "children of the drum," qualities the percussionists embody as they strive to preserve and reinterpret traditional Japanese performing arts. The drummers of Kodo use the ancient taiko drum as the foundation for a collaboration of dance, vocals and other regionally significant instruments while conveying a message of cultural acceptance.

In ancient Japan, the "taiko" was a symbol of the rural community. It is said that the limits of the village were defined not by geography, but by the farthest distance from which the taiko could be heard.

Since Kodo's debut in 1981 at the Berlin Festival, the group has presented more than 3,300 performances on five continents, spending its time divided among overseas shows, tours throughout Japan and at the group's home on Japan's Sado Island, where the drummers return to rejuvenate and prepare new material.

"The taiko is a pure, primitive musical instrument," said Takao Aoki, Kodo's director. "It embodies the wild soul of a newborn baby who comes into the world with the primal instinct to cry to communicate. If we stand before the taiko with the purity of a newborn child, the drum will awaken this primal instinct in all of us, resonating with clarity it cleanses us, and touches a part of us that has lain dormant for eons."

Kodo's performances are a blend of three critical elements: traditional Japanese folk art, compositions written specifically for Kodo by contemporary musicians (among them are composers Maki Ishii and Shinichiro Ikebe, Kabuki orchestra musicians Roetsu Tosha and Kiyohiko Semba, and jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita), and original pieces by Kodo members based on their exposure to the rhythms and sounds of cultures from around the world.

"Only through a lifetime of dedication can Kodo performers recreate the enchanting sounds of the taiko drum," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "Their unique collaboration of contemporary compositions and original Japanese folk art brings Japan's ancient culture alive in a spectacle that no audience will soon forget."

For more information on Kodo and all 2010-2011 season shows at IU Auditorium visit The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook Fan Page and Twitter page, whose members receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

Kodo is sponsored by Bloomington Cleaners and Nature's Way. The IU Auditorium 2010-2011 season is presented by Curry Auto Center, B97, the Herald-Times, Indiana University Document Service Center, and Indiana University Residential Programs and Services.

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