Nagata Shachu (formerly Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble), based in Toronto, Canada, has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since its formation in 1998. The ensemble has toured widely throughout Canada, the US and Italy performing in theatres, concert halls, and major music festivals.
While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the group’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko. Taking its name from founder Kiyoshi Nagata, and shachu (an old term for a performing troupe), Nagata Shachu has become renowned for its exacting, straightforward yet physically demanding performances as well as for its diverse repertoire. Their playing is the combination of unbounded spirit with the highest levels of musicianship and discipline. The result is an unforgettable experience that is both powerful in expression and heartfelt in its sincerity.
Nagata Shachu has the unique distinction of having sponsorship from four major Japanese drum manufacturers. Since 1999, the ensemble has rehearsed in its own fully equipped and dedicated taiko studio.
In addition to having recorded six CDs of original music and three live DVDs, Nagata Shachu produces its own annual concert where it premieres new works and often collaborates with guest artists. Since 2012, it has produced a three-concert season featuring collaborations with both local and international artists.
Combining thunderous, primal drumbeats with subtle, intricate rhythms, the ensemble is able to produce a wide spectrum of sound. Featuring a vast array of Japanese taiko (including the massive O-Daiko), gongs, bells, wooden clappers, shakers and bamboo flutes, Nagata Shachu will take you on a musical journey beyond all borders.