These Japanese drummers are a must-see if you get an opportunity. I saw the Yamato show here in Monterrey, Mexico. The drummers gave a free show as part of the Monterrey Forum, a three-month period of cultural events and dialogs. The Yamato drummers’ performance was on a giant stage, with outdoor seating. There were huge crowds that could not fit in to the seating all around the area. As a testament to the captivating magic of the Yamato drummers, these crowds stuck around even when it began raining. The enthusiasm of the drummers spread to everyone in the audience, caught their attention, and made everything else insignificant.
The show was more than just Japanese drumming. The drummers were also actors, and had the crowd laughing and interacting with them. They never used words, but the Yamato show was filled with well-practiced body language. They drummers played games with each other and the audience, pretending to “throw” the beat from drummer to drummer. The performers kept a competitive feeling to their playing, while at the same time creating upbeat music with perfect coordination.
The audience became part of the show when one of the drummers led them in clapping patterns. It turned into a game when another drummer kept ruining the clapping patterns by dragging bigger drums on-stage. Then it was a war of who could drag out the biggest drum. The audience laughed all throughout this superb game-playing, and people of all ages participated excitedly in the clapping game.
The Yamato drummers showcased traditional Japanese Wadaiko drumming, while making it accessible to an audience of all ages and musical tastes. In addition to the variety of Japanese drums, they added in other traditional Japanese instruments.
Their movements and body language were amplified by their beautiful and colorful Japanese costumes and crazy hair styles. Even from a distance you could see the enthusiasm and excitement they injected into their show. It was easy to tell that the performers themselves were having fun.
According to their website, the Yamato drummer group began performing in 1998, and has performed all over the world. This is not their first trip to Mexico! Their professionalism is clear from their well-rehearsed performance. Their schedule shows that they will be touring the USA during October, November, and December, so follow the link to their schedule to see when they will be appearing in your state. If they perform anywhere near you, you must do all you can to see them.