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Kodo Celebrate 25th Anniversary With Greatest Hits Album And Extensive North American Tour
Published December 12, 2006

The Japanese drummers release Heartbeat January 23 on Sony Japan/Red Ink.

Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo are forging new directions for a vibrant living art form. In Japanese the word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: firstly, "heartbeat" the primal source of all rhythm; secondly, read in a different way, the word can mean "children of the drum," a reflection of Kodo's desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child. The taiko is something experienced viscerally as the sound of the drum travels from the player and reverberates in the body of the listener. Since their debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo's ongoing "One Earth Tour" has brought the experience of the taiko to 43 countries around the world for over 2,900 total performances. Spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third resting and preparing new material on Sado Island, Kodo strives to both preserve and reinterpret traditional Japanese performing arts as they develop new styles that transcend all genres and borders.

"Heartbeat-Kodo 25th Anniversary" brings together the best tracks from all of Kodo's works. Each track has been newly mixed, DSD mastered, edited, and carefully assembled specifically for the finest sound quality and listening experience. From tackling drums with a diameter over 4 feet to incorporating Indonesian and South American instruments to collaborating with The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, the album is a celebration of Kodo's ability to bring tradition and new adventures together. The collection includes 5 tracks previously unreleased in the US.

Since their debut, Kodo have had many incredible successes. They began the yearly "Earth Celebration" in 1988, an international arts festival in their base of Sado Island. That same year they obtained enough land on the island to found Kodo Village. The village houses some of the performers and includes a library devoted to world music and dance, a reception building, a dormitory, and a rehearsal hall. The married members of the group have been building homes for their families in the surrounding land.  Kodo also collaborated on the soundtrack to the critical smash film "Hero". They have been able to bring their work and message of peace to every continent except Antarctica. "Heartbeat-Kodo 25th Anniversary" is the latest accomplishment in a singular career.

For a list of tour dates, please go to our concert section.