posted on Jan. 25: Japanese drumming ensemble brings ancient art form to Convocation Hall


The Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble, a Japanese drum group, is the featured performance tonight at the School of the Arts' latest Celebrity Concert.

The ensemble is a five-person taiko (Japanese drum) group based in Toronto. Ensemble members are Kiyoshi Nagata (artistic director), Katarina Kin, Meiko Lydall, Scott Kusano and Paolo Pietropaolo.

The concert takes place tonight, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. in Convocation Hall. Tickets are $17 regular, $12 senior/student and for more information call ext. 23333 or ext. 27671 or e-mail

The group has been active on the concert and music festival scene since making its debut in 1998 after being selected to perform at the Canada Council for the Art's National Showcase at the DuMaurier Theatre Centre.

While firmly rooted in the folk drumming traditions found throughout Japan, the ensemble's principal aim is to rejuvenate and redefine this ancient art form ensuring its relevance in today's society.

The ensemble, whose members come from Japanese as well as other backgrounds, has produced challenging and dynamic works that seek to create a new voice for the traditional taiko.

Under the direction of Kiyoshi Nagata, the ensemble has earned a reputation across North America for its straightforward yet exciting approach to playing the taiko.

Emphasizing sound, fundamentals and precision over choreography and extraneous movement, the ensemble has created a unique performance style that is both powerful in expression and beautiful in its simplicity.

The ensemble is one of only a few groups in North American that owns and performs on a complete set of authentic taiko imported from Japan.