The Schaefer Center Welcomes KODO One Earth Tour March 23rd 2023

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The Schaefer Center Welcomes KODO One Earth Tour March 23rd 2023

The Schaefer Center Presents Series Welcomes KODO One Earth Tour 2023: Tsuzumi at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on March 23

 Internationally acclaimed KODO Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble brings the music, wall of sound, and centuries-old art of Japan’s taiko drum to Boone!


 BOONE, NC — Internationally renowned KODO Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble is drumming its way from Japan to North America — bringing heart, history, and the centuries-old art of high-energy taiko drumming to more than 20 cities. The Schaefer Center Presents series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, is thrilled to be a part of KODO’s first tour since the pandemic and will present the acclaimed ensemble in KODO One Earth Tour 2023: Tsuzumi on Thursday, March 23 at 7pm at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. KODO is truly a show for the entire family, with tickets starting at $10. Purchase at, in person at 733 Rivers St., or by calling 828.262.4046. Special prices for students and residents of Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties.


The taiko: a traditional Japanese drum with limitless rhythmic possibilities. Kodo’s mission is to explore these possibilities, and in the process forge new directions for a vibrant living art-form. In Japanese, the word “Kodo” holds a double meaning. It can be translated as “heartbeat,” the primal source of all rhythm. Indeed, the great taiko is thought to be reminiscent of a mother’s heartbeat as felt from the womb, and babies are often lulled to sleep by its thunderous vibrations. If read in a different context, however, Kodo can also mean “children of the drum,” which reflects the group’s desire to play the drums with the simple heart of a child.” Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, KODO has given over 6,500 performances on all five continents.


The UK’s recently raved, “The Taiko drumming was just as described… spectacular. A performance you could feel in every part of your body as well as see, where all parts of the drum are used. Those rim shots that ‘cracked’ throughout the hall. And you have never seen drumsticks the size of these. That’s not a drumstick, that’s a baseball bat, surely?! … One other thing that was heartwarming was the amount of smiling going on. This group of performers LOVE what they do.”


“We’re honored to be a part of this tour and can’t wait to welcome KODO to the Schaefer Center,” says Denise Ringler, Director of Arts Engagement.” There’s nothing like the energy these talented performers bring to the stage. We know audiences of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this performance.”


Tsuzumi opens with a very special piece in the KODO ensemble’s history that is seldom performed on tour — “Dyu-Ha.” The late Maki Ishii, a modern composer who was introduced to KODO by conductor Seiji Ozawa, presented this piece to KODO as a gift to congratulate the ensemble on its debut in 1981. This will be the first time KODO has performed “Dyu-Ha” in North America since 1989. The 40th anniversary tour program also features Ishii’s masterpiece “Monochrome” and other KODO signature pieces such as “O-daiko,” “Yatai-bayashi,” and “Zoku,” coupled with new compositions.

The 2023 KODO tour is supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan. For more information about KODO, please visit


Tickets: $25 Adults, $20 Locals (proof of residency in Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties), $10 Students

Available at, in person, or 828.262.4046.




From the Media

“Indeed, if there is such a thing as perfection in music, Kodo comes as near to it as any group in the world.” —The Boston Globe

“Superlatives don’t really exist to convey the primal power and bravura beauty of Kodo. … Throughout, the devil of it is the combination of the discipline of a surgeon’s scalpel with the primitive, muscular endurance of a cavalry charge. The speed and dexterity are as impressive as the physical tenacity is breathtaking.” —Chicago Tribune

“Balancing a deadly aggression with utter tranquility, their sound stretches from the lightest of rainfall to cataclysmic thunderclaps, from pleasant laughter to discordant fear and from silence to – just once here – a wall of sound, as high, frightening and impregnable as a mountain. Musicians, theatre directors and all interested in the sheer power of sound to feed emotions should take note.” —The Guardian / UK

“Traditional rituals recast as theater, and contemporary thoughts about ancient instruments both figure in Kodo’s performance, which includes ancient and modern compositions. Yet with tense, angular postures, with stylized, frozen gestures and, in one playful piece, with animal-like scampering and slithering, Kodo reminds its audience that, above all, its music is a matter of flesh and blood, wood and stretched skin. Kodo can raise the roof, but the group can also show extraordinary finesse.” —The New York Times

“Having spent some time with them, jazz drummer and composer Max Roach thinks of the Japanese drummers of Kodo as regular guys. On stage it’s another story – clad in sweatbands and loincloths, they are like percussionist kamikazes. You expect them to drum till they drop. ‘The technique they use to play percussion instruments is totally different from anything I’ve ever seen,’ he says… ‘They deal with that ‘visual sound’ more than anyone I’ve ever known.’” —The Village Voice


About KODO
Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, KODO is forging new directions for a vibrant living artform. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, KODO has given over 6,500 performances on all five continents, spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third rehearsing and preparing new material on Sado Island. KODO strives to both preserve and re-interpret traditional Japanese performing arts. Beyond this, members on tours and research trips all over the globe have brought back to Sado a kaleidoscope of world music and experiences which now exerts a strong influence on the group’s performances and compositions. Collaborations with other artists and composers extend right across the musical spectrum and KODO’s lack of preconceptions about its music continues to produce startling new fusion and forms.


About KODO’s Home of Sado Island

Since 1971, Sado Island has been KODO’s home and the platform from which the group reaches out to the world. With nature’s warm embrace evident in each of her four seasons, Sado is an extraordinary place where traditional ways of life and the island’s indigenous performing arts still thrive today. This island is the fountain of inspiration for KODO and the guiding force behind the group’s creative lifestyle. Their goal is to find a harmonious balance between people and the natural world. Each time KODO ventures off the island, the ensemble encounters new people, customs, and traditional performing arts that are ingrained in the lifestyles of each locale. Both similarities and differences prompt KODO members to pause and reflect upon the importance of the varied and rich cultures that color our world. These life lessons permeate each performer’s skin and become an invisible source of their expression. It is through this process of Living, Learning, and Creating that KODO cultivates a unique aesthetic and sensitivity, reaching out toward a new world culture rooted in the rich possibilities of a peaceful coexistence between humanity and nature.


About the KODO Cultural Foundation

Thanks to the support of many friends, the KODO Cultural Foundation was established in 1997 in order to increase KODO’s capacity for outreach projects on Sado Island. Its primary mission is to carry out non-profit activities focused on social education and the notion of giving back to the local community. The KODO Cultural Foundation is committed to the cultural and environmental preservation of Sado Island and oversees many ambitious projects. From the conservation of local habitats to the revitalisation of rare craft traditions and Noh theaters throughout Sado Island, the highly collaborative KODO Cultural Foundation supports many vital initiatives. Its activities include holding workshops, planning the annual Earth Celebration, creating a research library, managing the KODO Apprentice Centre and the Sado Island Taiko Centre, and carrying out research in the performing arts.


About the KODO Apprentice Centre

In a converted schoolhouse in Kakinoura on Sado Island, the young people who will continue and expand on KODO’s traditions are trained, not just in musical technique but also in all matters of body and spirit. Beginning in April, apprentices live communally and train for two years. From this group, probationary members are selected in January of the second year. These chosen few spend one year as junior members, and if they are successful, they then become full KODO members. KODO seeks people of all backgrounds who are interested in becoming apprentices, as well as the next generation of KODO players and staff. Apprentices live communally in the KODO Apprentice Centre where they learn taiko, dance, song, and other traditional arts.





Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer with Rakesh Chaurasia

Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 7pm

Schaefer Center

There’s a bit of the sorcerer in Béla Fleck (banjo), Zakir Hussain (tabla), Edgar Meyer (double bass), and their special guest Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri – Indian flute). It’s music that transcends description — ineffable, indefinable, and beautiful.


About The Schaefer Center Presents Series

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a performing arts series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world.


Thank You to Our Sponsors

Explore Boone, University Bookstore, Hampton Inn & Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Our State Magazine, High Country Radio (WZJS and WATA), WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WKSK The Farm, and WASU 90.





The Schaefer Center Presents series is proud to co-sponsor the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.


Craft talks, readings, and book signings. All events are FREE and open to the public. Plemmons Student Union, App State.