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Yamato, the drummers of Japan, return to Luhrs

SHIPPENSBURG - The H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University presents YAMATO The Drummers of Japan: “Bakuon” – Legend of the Heartbeat, AT 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 15.

Reserved tickets are $34, $29, $25 and $20 and are now on sale. A group discount is available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling the Luhrs Center Box Office at 717-477-7469 or online at

This group, from beautiful Nara Prefecture in Japan, is able to exhibit great originality and innovation through a traditional Japanese musical instrument, the wadaiko (Japanese drum). This is the epitome of the Japanese spirit, a roaring sound that invites listeners to experience new exciting adventures.

Dozens of players start their performance by hitting a Japanese Taiko drum made from a large 400 year-old tree. They move their whole bodies to strike the drum with everything in their souls, creating a powerful surge of energy. That's the world of Yamato: powerful sounds, colorful and breathtaking scenes, amazing costumes and beautiful lighting and theatrical effects.

Their live performances are so full of intensity that they make people's bodies jump and their hearts race faster.

Yamato was formed in 1993, debuting at a Shinto shrine festival in the group's hometown with their original song "Hyu-­‐ga (The sunrise)." Since then, 20 years have passed and they have been invited to 53 countries around the world, playing in more than 3,000 performances, and attracting 6 million viewers. Their performances, featuring various stage formations, have received rave reviews; the British media has even called their sound "the music of the body."

Yamato is based in a village called Asuka, known as the birthplace of Japanese culture, appearing in international performances six to 10 months a year with an explosion of Yamato (ancient Japanese) spirit. They are proud to be known as the group with the largest number of international performances among all Japanese performing art groups.

The members of the group live together in a community to create everything by themselves. This includes the musical compositions, theatre productions, theatre settings, lighting design, choreography, performance techniques, costumes, makeup, stage settings and props - even the bachi (sticks) used in the performances are all their own original work.

The theme of Yamato’s new program, “Bakuon,” is based on the sound of the heartbeat that is continuous from our birth, growth, and day-to-day existence. In all that exists between the blue sky and green earth, our hearts are continuously beating throughout all that is vividly visible in this world. Inspired by this sound, the group has weaved this beat into the story of "YAMATO."  Each beat from the Taiko drums in "YAMATO" represents its history, a life's story of sweat and tears, and the vast memories remembered within the sound of every person’s heart.

Please note: a 60-minute master class (lecture demonstration) will take place in the Orrstown Bank Lobby of the Luhrs Center at 4 p.m. preceding this performance. Pre-registration is requested by calling the Luhrs Center Box Office at 717-477-7469.

For tickets and additional information about the YAMATO performance, call the Luhrs Center Box Office at 717-477-7469 or visit