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There’s nothing quite like the thunderous boom of a drum the size of a Volkswagen Bug to get the bones in your chest to rattlin’. Japan’s legendary Kodo Ensemble, masters of the rumbling sound of the giant taiko drum, are poised to blow the roof off the Kravis Center tonight at 8, where the troupe is performing its One Earth Tour. But this isn’t your average musical gig. Kodo keeps the original communal spirit of Japanese drumming alive while creating new pieces and group projects. “Taiko is not simply percussion,” explains Jun Akimoto, a ten-year member of the ensemble. “It’s a part of life, and part of communities. It unites people with people, and also people with nature and even with gods.”

Kodo’s spirit was forged on Sado Island off Japan’s northwest coast, where members have lived together in communal unity for nearly thirty years. In addition to the gargantuan O-daiko drum, tipping the scales at 900 pounds and crafted from the trunk of an African Bubinga tree and the hide of a large cow, the performance includes influences ranging from Flamenco to Western African music.
Fri., March 13, 8 p.m., 2009

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