Earth Celebration 2024

AUG. 16






Ogi, Sado Island, Niigata



Key Visual


Harbour Concerts

Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble

Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble

Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo is forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo has given over 7,000 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.



Featured Event(s)

The NAKIBEMBE EMBAIRE GROUP hails from Uganda, known for singing and performing on a large ensemble instrument called the embaire, crafting hypnotic and joyful music. Having greatly expanded their audience following an acclaimed performance at Nyege Nyege Festival in 2018, they are one of the few remaining groups playing the embaire. The embaire is a large wooden xylophone performed by up to eight musicians simultaneously, who weave together polyrhythmic short melodic phrases. Ensemble members may also sing in unison or in call and response, playing with other percussive instruments to keep the tempo. The results are ecstatic compositions that flow endlessly, creating waves of coalescing grooves. For CTM Festival 2020, the Group took part in a special commission with Gabber Modus Operandi (a duo from Bali who have created songs that mixes hardcore techno, metal, punk, noise, dangdut, jathilan and various kinds of traditional music from Indonesia) and Wahono (an artist from Jakarta, Indonesia whose practice involves physical and nonphysical audiovisual forms) that was showcased in Berghain (Berlin). They also played their regular traditional show at CTM. Nakibembe was in the official WOMEX showcases selection in 2021 and had their French premiere at Bourse de Commerce in Paris that same year. In the summer of 2022, they played at Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Roskilde Festival (DK), Forde Festival in Norway, Bourse de Commerce in Paris, and more. In January 2023, the Group was invited to perform at Brechtfestival in Germany. Early this year, Nyege Nyege Tapes released their first album, including 3 tracks with Gabber Modus Operandi from Indonesia, and 5 of Nakibembe’s own tracks.

Hiroyuki Hayashida

Hiroyuki Hayashida

Featured Event(s)

After becoming a member of Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble in 1985 and touring with the group for a decade, Hiroyuki Hayashida began his solo career as a taiko drummer in 1995. He helped craft the music for Takeshi Kitano’s film "Zatoichi," and appeared in a music video by Grammy-winning artists Coldplay and Rihanna. He has performed in many concerts with world-class jazz musicians including David Benoit (piano), Alfonso Johnson (bass), and Terry Boggio (drum set). As a leader in the field of katsugi oke-daiko (portable barrel drum), Hayashida delivers world-class performances and teaches and trains players from around the world. He also collaborates with world-renowned percussion instrument manufacturer REMO and Asano Taiko, one of the largest taiko stores in Japan, both of which have released his signature models. Since 2000, Hayashida has co-produced taiko ensemble "samurai music ZI-PANG.” He has also launched the "Super Taiko Junior" program for young taiko players from all over Japan and the "Emotional Taiko Project" open to all taiko players, working to nurture players and performers. Hayashida serves as a training instructor for the Nippon Taiko Association certified instructors, and in 2019 received the Saitama Global Award in recognition of his international activities. He is also active as a Saitama Goodwill Ambassador.

Ryutaro Kaneko

Taiko & Chappa (Cymbals) Performer From 1987, Ryutaro Kaneko spent twenty years performing as a core member of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo. He was a key figure on stage and behind the scenes: he composed and arranged pieces for the Kodo stage and recordings, and held the positions of music director (for Tamasaburo Bando’s “Amaterasu,” etc.) and artistic director in the group. In 1988, Kaneko developed an original method of playing the chappa (small Japanese cymbals), bringing new innovation to taiko ensemble performances. He left the Kodo ensemble in 2007 to become a solo artist. Kaneko has performed in 43 countries on six continents to date. His onstage jam sessions with music, dance and art around the world soar beyond any genre. With these three styles, he expresses his high musicality and flexible sensibilities. Kaneko’s taiko workshops focus on his original method Yurumi-daho—relaxation drumming form. He also teaches performance technique, ensemble playing, and even workshops that do not use taiko. His students range from taiko novices to professionals and teachers in an array of art genres including acting and dance. Kaneko also serves as an instructor at Kodo Apprentice Centre.

Yasukazu Kano

Shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute) Performer Yasukazu Kano became a member of Kodo in 1987. After a decade of touring, he left the ensemble in 1997 to become a solo artist. Remaining on Sado Island. he went on to further explore and broaden the possibilities of playing the shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute), developing his own method of playing. Kano made his major debut using this new method in Yamaha in 2005. In addition to many CDs, he has released instructional DVDs, sheet music books, photo essays, and more. He has performed more than 2,000 times in 30 countries around the world. As a music producer, he wrote a theme song for NHK’s “Nihon no Wagei” and music for television, movies, and theater. Kano leads shinobue workshops nationwide and around the world, as well as sharing his expertise via SHINOBUE KANO METHOD YouTube tutorials. He has also created many videos of live performances to help revive festival culture and spread shinobue music globally. Some of his other accomplishments include performing with Salena Jones, Kosetsu Minami (Japanese singer), Ryuichi Kawamura (Japanese singer-songwriter and record producer), and Keizo Nakanishi (Japanese singer-songwriter and composer). Kano also serves as an instructor at Kodo Apprentice Centre.

Masayuki Sakamoto

Taiko Performer Blending his taiko and rock background, Masayuki Sakamoto’s future-generation artistry continues to attract attention from around the world. For over a decade, he was a core, driving-force member of Kodo, performing solos and center-stage parts since his debut. On stage, Sakamoto captivates audiences with his honed physicality, sharp sensibilities, and remarkable technique. Behind the scenes, he was instrumental in the proposal and development phases of two innovative new taiko: the tunable okedo-daiko Kanade, and the electronic taiko "Taiko-1." Both drums went on to win Japan’s Good Design Award. Sakamoto began his solo career in 2018. In 2022, he launched his Online Taiko Salon—a taiko membership that fosters learning and community. In 2023, he decided to expand his offerings to connect with taiko players around the world by starting his English-content Online Taiko Collective in 2023. As a Japanese solo artist, he thrives on venturing into unexplored areas of music and expression.