Back in Boerne by popular demand, the TAO Taiko Drummers will take to the stage with their latest production: Drum Heart!  These internationally acclaimed percussion artists have transfixed audiences worldwide with their modern, magical, mystifying performances that are the hallmark of the ancient art of Japanese taiko drumming.

This is not just your ordinary drum show…but one filled with contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals that combine highly physical, large-scale drumming that has transfixed audiences worldwide.

Approaching 8 million spectators, all over the world, including the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, TAO has been hailed as “undoubtedly one of the finest shows on stage” by the Edinburgh Evening News.  Their performances have been hailed as the most prominent entertainment in Japan, as evidenced by their receipt of “The Sixth Japan Tourism Agency Commission’s Award”.

Their 2018 North American tour is both mentally and physically exhausting…having started January 31 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada…extending down the entire eastern seaboard…then back up through the Midwest…before journeying to Texas.  Their Texas shows include Houston (Jones Hall), Dallas (Strauss Square), Midland (Noel Performing Arts Center) and Boerne (Champion Auditorium).  After Texas, they continue on to the west coast, where their tour will finally end on May 6th, in the 2000-seat Zellerbach Hall on the campus of University of California-Berkeley.

That totals 63 shows in 96 days…in 40 US states!  Demanding? Yes!  Exhausting?  Yes!  Exhilarating?  Yes!  The Chicago Tribune reviewed TAO as “supernaturally fit and superbly trained…stunning…fully deserving of the standing ovation that the company receives!” while the Central News Agency commented, “You’ll regret it for life if you miss this!”

So let’s get ready for an evening of highly physical, large-scale drumming that creates an energetic, yet breathless performance.  The place to be on Friday, April 13, will be Boerne Champion Auditorium, when Boerne Performing Arts closes out their seventh sensational season of bringing the world of professional performing arts to the hill country.

Are you familiar with taiko?  Were you aware that taiko drums are crafted from the trunks of the Japanese Zelkova tree?  A master carpenter carves out the rough shape of the drum body with a chisel to soften the tone of the drum. Did you know that the skins, or heads, are made from the cowhide of Holstein cows?  And for the larger drums, a bull skin is preferred?

What other components of taiko should you know?

Bachi: Sticks used for taiko.  Made in various sizes and from different types of wood (white oak, bamboo, and Japanese magnolia).

Kumi-daiko: Type of performance involving multiple players and different types of taiko.

Shie-daiko: Small, high-pitched taiko where the skin is pulled across the head using rope.

Byo-uchi-daiko: Taiko where the skin is tacked onto the head.

Tsuzumi (NOT a tsunami!!!): Rope tensioned drums with a distinct hourglass shape.

Kata: Term used to describe the posture and movement associated with both taiko and martial arts.

Tickets ($30-$40-$60, $20 for students) are available online at www.BoernePerformingArts.com, or if you would prefer personal attention, give them a call at 830.331.9079.  Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. at Boerne Champion Auditorium.


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