Bringing the ancient art of Taiko drumming into the present, Yamato: The Drummers of Japan storm the Diana Wortham Theatre stage on Saturday, November 9, 2013 with two shows at 4:00pm and 8:00pm. Yamato celebrates two decades of rhythm in its new show Rojyoh — The Beat on the Road, a heart-pounding spectacle of athleticism and speed, superhuman feats of coordination, and phenomenal precision. The master drummers perform on a mind-altering array of traditional percussion instruments large and small, including a massive odaiko drum six feet in diameter and made from a 400-year-old tree. Internationally touring Asheville-based drummer River Guerguerian says of Yamato: “Everyone should experience Taiko drumming at least once in a lifetime, and if you haven’t yet, this is the opportunity to do it. These dedicated passionate percussionists will exhilarate and compel you as they display their fantastic rhythms and joy of life.”
The drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life for the highly skilled men and women of Yamato, and Taiko is a musical instrument deeply familiar to every Japanese person. The Yamato drummers have dedicated themselves to bringing this sound to life around the world with passion, intensity and jaw-dropping skill. Under Artistic Director Masa Ogawa, the group is committed to preserving the traditions and exploring new possibilities for the majestic drums it features. Ogawa writes, “Our goal is to create ever more opportunities for the boom of Taiko to resound worldwide.”
Founded in Japan’s Nara Prefecture in 1993, Yamato has given over 2,600 performances in 52 countries and regions, touring the world for six to ten months each year creating and performing original compositions for global audiences, applying touches of humor and rock-n-roll exhibitionism to this serious and captivating art form. “Go anywhere if invited and make the world a little more happy” is the group’s motto. With up to 200 performances a year worldwide, Yamato takes its motto very seriously.
Yamato: The Drummers of Japan’s Asheville performances are made possible by Performance Sponsors Ed & Vicki Jenest and Wells Fargo Bank, with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville, 880AM The Revolution, and News Radio 570 WWNC.
The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and Circle in the Square restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new box office.