Japan Festival 2018 Performers
Since its formation, Japanese drumming troupe ASKA-GUMI’s striking performances have set a new standard for Japanese drumming.
From Cairo Opera House and the Russian Kremlin to their 5-star performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, ASKA has amazed audiences around the world.
This year, ASKA joins Japan Festival in marking a 25-year milestone. Celebrations will kick-off of with a special performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Thursday, April 12.
Visit the ASKA-GUMI's Official YouTube Channel to watch videos of their exhilarating performances!
(Left) Easy | (Right) Kodaman
ZOOMADANKE is a professional kendama performance unit that was formed in December 2010. Takeshi Kodama ("Kodaman") and Hiroki Iijima ("Easy"), ZOOMADANKE's founders, are pioneers of an art form that blends the mastery of a traditional Japanese wooden toy - kendama - with dance and music.
Using hip-hop, beatbox and even traditional Japanese music, ZOOMADANKE performs tricks using a kendama with a combination of smooth, graceful and sharp movements. The pair’s choreography is unique and entertaining, completely in sync with each other as they jump, twist and turn — all the time while doing kendama.
In addition to countless TV appearances, the group has headlined the JPOP SUMMIT, Japan Fest Brazil, Japan Expo Thailand, Malaysia's Sakura Festival, Redbull's Freestyle Football Showcase, Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, and other events on a global stage.
Visit the ZOOMDANKE Official YouTube Channel to check out their moves.
Takarabune is Japan’s first and only professional Awa Odori dance performance group.
Awa Odori is one of the most well-known traditional Japanese festival dances. Takarabune energetic and powerful performance puts a new twist on the traditional art. Members of the group take on dual roles, both dancing and playing musical instruments, unlike traditional Awa Odori.
Takarabune has toured all over the world, performing in France, the UK, India and more. Currently, they are embarking on a road trip tour through the United States!
Visit the Takarabune Official Website to watch them in action!
Japanese pop singer TiA debuted at the young age of 16 and shot to stardom with her song "Ryusei," which was featured as one of the ending themes for the hit anime "Naruto." Her first album received a Gold Disc Award, and TiA went on to sing the opening theme of the anime "Yakitatte Japan" and the closing theme of the popular Japanese music television program "Hey Hey Hey Music Champ."
Since moving to New York City in 2014, TiA has performed at the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall. 2016 saw TiA take first prize at the largest gospel competition in the United States, McDonald’s GospelFest.
TiA has been named a IFA United Nations NGO-OCCAM International Ambassador-Singer for her work encouraging cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.
Her new single, GALAXY RIDE, was released earlier this year.
Singer, songwriter and composer Kohei is an all-around entertainer. The Apollo winner and McDonald’s GospelFest finalist has opened for the likes of Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon, Lil Mama, Lyfe Jennings and Case, and has also been featured on the Steve Harvey Show and Sony's M-On TV with Japanese Recording Artist The RAMPAGE.
Kohei is equally known for his emceeing prowess and is the official host of the East Coast's largest Japanese street fare - Japan Fes - as well as J-Anime Night.
As a IFA United Nations NGO-OCCAM International Ambassador-Singer, Kohei encourages cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.
He will soon be releasing his new single “POWER TO THE PEOPLE.”
Kaminari Taiko was founded in 1996 by Jay Mochizuki along with a number of talented musicians from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.
Kaminari's unique style of dynamic taiko performance is inspired by the traditional values of Japanese art and propulsive, toe-tapping world beats. The group's high-energy shows are powered by an arsenal of over 30 professional-quality taiko.
Kaminari Taiko enjoys sharing the spirit of taiko with audiences throughout Texas and beyond. Over the past eighteen years, Kaminari has toured to over 20 cites, performed hundreds of concerts for live audiences exceeding 150,000, and developed into a prominent performing taiko group.