“Leonard Eto TAIKO Ensemble” Concert in Central Asia

"Leonard Eto TAIKO Ensemble"Concert in Central Asia

The Japan Foundation presents a concert tour featuring "Leonard Eto TAIKO Ensemble"(wadaiko [Japanese drums] & tap dance), the performers unit led by wadaiko drummer Leonard Eto. This tour takes place in three Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, and Georgia from November 11 to 23, 2012.

Leonard Eto, a leading hogaku [Japanese traditional music] artist, not only gives unique wadaiko performance, but manages serving as composer and music director as well. This time, he appears with his ensemble members and produces an innovative art form, appealing to both auditory (sound of wadaiko) and visual (movement of tap dance) senses, to represent the fusion of Japanese traditions and contemporary culture.

This performance is to be held as a commemorative event for the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, and Georgia in 2012, aiming to encourage further understanding of Japan through cultural exchanges in Central Asian countries where people show strong interest in wadaiko.

Dates: November 11 - 23, 2012

Astana (Kazakhstan)
Date: Sunday, November 11
Venue: Palace of Arts "Shabyt", Kazakh National University of Arts Lecture / Demonstration
Date: Monday, November 12
Venue: Palace of Arts "Shabyt", Kazakh National University of Arts
Almaty (Kazakhstan)
Date: Thursday, November 15
Venue: Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory
Bishkek (Kyrgyz)
Exchange Event
Date: Saturday, November 17
Venue: Kyrgyz Republic-Japan Center for human development Performance
Date: Sunday, November 18
Venue: Kyrgyz National Conservatory
Date: Monday, November 19
Venue: Kyrgyz National Philharmonic
Tbilisi (Georgia)
Lecture / Demonstration
Date: Wednesday, November 21
Venue: Tbilisi State Conservatoire
Date: Thursday, November 22
Venue: Free University of Tbilisi Performance
Date: Friday, November 23
Venue: Grivoedov Russian State Drama Theatre

Organizer: The Japan Foundation

Co-Organizers: Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Embassy of Japan, Almaty Office, Embassy of Japan in the Kyrgyz, Republic Embassy of Japan in Georgia

Artist Profile

Leonard Eto 〈Japanese Drum / Direction / Composition〉

Leonard EtoBorn in New York in 1963. Participated in "Kodo" from 1984. He led the group by blowing away the old image of the drum as not only a player and composer but also as a music director. The drum ensemble created by his original style gave a significant impact to the entertainment and music scene in Japan as well as Europe and United States. He left Kodo in 1992 and started his solo career. Since his solo live debut "Leo Project" in 1993, he has conducted various projects with his unique worldview through many collaborations. The stage he produces is filled with the scrupulous arrangement by the collaborations with percussion definitely, stringed, pianoforte, digital sound, and tap-dance. Then, it creates a comfortable tension and the stereophonic effect in sound by keeping the organic relationship respectively. Also he has made active exchanges with overseas artists participating in many festivals and tours. His music has been used numerous film and dance, and CM. His father, Kimio Eto, is the head master of Ikuta-Eto style of the Japanese harp, and he was active in America in 1950's so that he co-starred with such as Leopold Stokowski(a conductor) and Harry Belafonte(a singer). His five years elder brother, Steve Eto, is the percussionist.

Official Website

Miho Uesugi 〈Japanese Drum〉

Miho UesugiBorn in October in 1974. She started playing Japanese Drum at 16 years old and belonged to the Drum group in Oume, but became independent in 2000. Since then, she has been building up her career as a musician while groping for her own sound. Her experience as a Japanese Drum player is 20 years. Participated Leonard Eto's Africa and Middle East tour sponsored by Japan Foundation in 2004. Currently is active in her own band "eno" and "tei". Has been joined many albums of Leonard Eto.

Kenichi Koizumi 〈Japanese Drum〉

Kenichi KoizumiBorn in Saitama in 1975. Began to learn the drums under the influence of his father at 10 years old, and joined a local group. Aimed at becoming a drum player in his high school days. After graduation, started his activities with various musicians, dancers, actors, who are in several genres in order to become a full-fledged drum player. Participated in the concert as a member of "Takio Ito (a folk singer) & TAKIO BAND". Planning various activities as an all-round drum player.

Official Website

Hidenori Yura 〈Japanese Drum〉

Leonard EtoBelonged to Japanese Drum Group "Furyudagaku Matsurisyu" till 2008. Participated in CD "Raion". Also, formed the "HIDE&KEITH" with Keith Hills come from Canada in 2004. At home and abroad played with various artists adopting any musical instruments freely beyond the concept of the Japanese Drum. In 2005, his first CD "pfat?" was produced, and the second CD "Kukuruyuh" in 2009. Further, HIDE&KEITH advanced to the finals of "ISC 2007" in US. Their musicality has begun to be recognized in abroad.

Doji 〈Tap dance〉

Leonard EtoBorn in Tokyo in June 1982. Graduated Art Department of Tamagawa University. When he was 9 years old he started learning tap under Mr. Koyo Ukai, and he has shown remarkable achievements on the stages, the events, and the TV shows. He considers tap as one means of the comprehensive art, and he is a pioneering tapper in the next generation who is aggressively challenging to collaborate with various musicians and dancers in different genres. At the tap event "SOUND OUT", he performs with tap dancers of the same age for creating a new tap scene. He formed "Volgrooma", and this is a unique group includes tap, traditional instruments of Africa and Brazil, guitar, and bass. Pursues tap dance as the music by performing at the live music pubs and the festivals.

Staff: Yasuo Komiya (Lighting Design)

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
Europe, Middle East and Africa Section, Arts and Culture Dept.
Person in charge: Abe
Tel. +81-(0)3-5369-6063

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