YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan Celebrate 30th Anniversary Tour February – April!

17 Jan 2023

YAMATO: the Drummers of Japan will visit Twenty-Eight North American Cities this February-April with their 30th Anniversary Tour Program
「火の鳥」Hinotori – The wings of Phoenix


From February 14 – April 16, 2023, YAMATO: The Drummers of Japan will tour North America with their new show entitled, 「火の鳥」Hinotori – The wings of Phoenix. This year marks the 30th Anniversary season for the “simply captivating” (The Evening Post) Taiko troupe, who have reached nearly 8 million people globally in over 4,000 performances throughout their history. The troupe brings Hinotori – The wings of Phoenix to twenty-eight venues in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and Calgary and Toronto, Canada.

The physically powerful troupe of musician-athletes work and live together as a community in the Asuka Village, said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. There they create their own musical compositions, theater productions, sets, lighting design, choreography, performance techniques, costumes, makeup, stage settings and props. They even make their own bachi sticks used to play the traditional Japanese instruments, beginning each show by hitting a Wadaiko drum weighing half a ton, made from a single piece of wood from a 400-year-old tree.

Since their formation, YAMATO has been committed to preserving and respecting the Taiko tradition, while infusing originality and innovation into the ancient practice. And while the members train rigorously, YAMATO imbues each performance with joy and a sense of fun.

“YAMATO believes that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life and the epitome of the Japanese spirit,” says Founder and Artistic Director Masa Ogawa. “YAMATO uses creativity to convert Wadaiko into a performing art that can reverberate in Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world.”

YAMATO had just begun touring their program, Tenmei – Destiny in 2022 when the troupe – along with the rest of the world – was confronted with closures due to a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. The drummers returned to the Asuka Village, where they never ceased training and creating together. Hinotori – The wings of Phoenix celebrates the troupe’s strength and ability to rise up despite the challenges it has faced throughout its 30-year history. Ogawa writes:

The dawn is beginning to break again.
Now is the time to get up.

We have not been defeated
Even though we hit the mountain that rises high
Even slipped and fallen into deep valleys
We’ve gotten back up again and again

Just when we began to over-confidently believe that we could go anywhere

Under the sky, on the Earth

We were confronted by the biggest mountain I’d ever seen
We sank into a valley deeper than any valley I’ve ever slid down

In the shadow of the huge mountain
In the darkness of the pitch-black valley floor
We were swallowed up
Despair and Hope

But we did not forget the sun that shone beyond

We continued to struggle and walk
And now we see the light again

Now is the time to rise again

Fly high


Flying high, clothed in sunshine
We spread the wings of our burning souls

We are Phoenix


February 14 Medford, OR Craterion Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts
February 16 Seattle, WA The Moore Theatre
February 19 Calgary AB Jack Singer Concert Hall
February 22 Bend, OR Tower Theatre
February 24 Redding, CA The Cascade Theatre
February 25 Rohnert Park, CA Weill Hall, Green Music Center at Sonoma State University
February 26 Davis, CA Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center at UC Davis
February 28 Modesto, CA Gallo Center for the Arts
March 3 Cerritos, CA Cerritos Center for Performing Arts
March 4 Los Angeles, CA Soraya Center at CSUN
March 7 Twin Falls, ID CSI Fine Arts Auditorium
March 9 Beaver Creek, CO Vilar Performing Arts Center
March 16 Midland, TX Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center
March 18 Galveston, TX The Grand 1894 Opera House
March 19 San Antonio, TX The Tobin Center
March 20 Austin, TX The Paramount Theatre
March 24 Athens, GA Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall at UGA
March 25 Newberry, SC Newberry Opera House
March 29 Fish Creek, WI Door Community Auditorium
March 31 Wausau, WI The Grand Theater
April 2 Madison, WI Overture Hall
April 6 Durham, NC Page Auditorium
April 7 Wilmington, DE Copeland Hall, The Grand Opera House
April 8 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
April 11 New Philadelphia, OH Performing Arts Center at KSU
April 13 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
April 14 Kingston, ON Kingston Grand Theatre
April 16 Lyndon Center, VT Lyndon Institute Auditorium