Date/Time: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. Location: Cobb Great Hall Tickets: Tickets from $20 Student and group discounts available Ticket Office: whartoncenter.com 517.432.2000 or 1.800.WHARTON

EAST LANSING, Mich. ― Back by popular demand! The famous Japanese drummers, YAMATO, will return to Wharton Center’s Cobb Great Hall on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the official source to purchase Wharton Center tickets online, whartoncenter.com, at the Auto-Owners Insurance Ticket Office, or by calling 1-800-WHARTON.

YAMATO’s acclaimed performances of Japanese Taiko drumming and music have captivated over 6 million people in 53 countries around the world. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the troupe continues to evolve and innovate, combining traditional Taiko drumming with modern athleticism and visual spectacle.

Employing pinpoint precision, ferocious skill, and high-energy creativity, this very modern troupe of young male and female musician-athletes creates for the audience an unforgettable spectacle. The group of a dozen-plus players starts their performance by hitting a Japanese Taiko drum weighing half a ton, made from a single piece of wood from a tree that has aged more than 400 years. They move their whole bodies to strike the drum, creating a powerful surge of energy. YAMATO’s live performances are full of intensity and exhibit great originality and innovation through this traditional Japanese musical instrument, with the belief that the drumbeat, like the heartbeat, is the very pulse of life, and the epitome of the Japanese spirit. YAMATO artistic director Masa Ogawa says, “Taiko’s rich reverberations have filled people with inspiration and encouragement in a wide range of settings. We are committed to preserving its traditions and exploring new possibilities for this majestic instrument.”

The Challengers, or “Chousensha” is a new program created by YAMATO meant to challenge the possibilities of Taiko drumming. The Challengers is created to reflect the members’ own lives and their experiences of challenging their own limits. “Most of all,” writes Masa Ogawa, “The Challengers offers an anthem for encouragement to all who face their own challenges.”

YAMATO teamed up with international fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto to create costumes for “Chousensha.” YAMATO was inspired by Yamamoto’s “limitless spirit of challenge,” notes Ogawa. By wearing his designs, “we are able to refine our spirit even further and stimulate our challenging spirit.”

YAMATO broke from Taiko’s long-standing patriarchy and has always included women in the troupe. And while the members train rigorously, beginning each day with a 10km run and weight training, Yamato imbues each performance with joy and a sense of fun, breaking from the stereotypical stoicism associated with this ancient art form.

For high-resolution images of YAMATO, visit www.whartoncentermedia.com.# # #

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