The troup, based on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan, blends the traditional art with modern directions. Their emphasis on cross-collaboration that has put them onstage with international artists including Mickey Hart and Max Roach.

The American tour will kick off January 29 at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Ore., and stop at theatres and performing arts centers in 21 other markets including San Francisco, Denver, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C.

A highlight of the tour will be a five-night stand at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles February 7 – 11.

The anniversary album, Kodo Tataku: Best of Kodo 2, will be released in the U.S. by Red Ink Records on January 23. It contains 11 tracks from previous albums, five of which have never been released in America.

The taiko was a symbol of the rural community in ancient Japan; village borders were determined by the furthest distance at which the drum could be heard.

Kodo’s One Earth Tour, which has taken the ensemble throughout Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia since 1981, has applied the concept worldwide to create a symbolic “global village.”