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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 rattlin’. Japan’s legendary Kodo ensemble, master of the rumbling sound of the giant taiko drum, is poised to blow the roof off the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall this Saturday at 8 p.m., when the troupe will perform 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 — long considered a boho enclave — where members have lived in communal unity for nearly 30 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, promising a pulse-pounding good time. Tickets cost $15 to $60. Call 305-949-6722, or visit
Sat., March 14, 2009


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