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Student Matinee – YAMATO

February 20, 2025 | 10:00 am - 11:00 am  |

  | $8 – $20


Step into the world of YAMATO, the Japanese Taiko drumming sensation that has captivated audiences worldwide since 1993. YAMATO takes audiences on a whirlwind tour of rhythm and culture with more than 40 Taiko drums standing tall on stage, each with its own character, size and sound. The mighty “Odaiko,” carved from a 400-year-old tree, weighs 500 kg and sets the stage for an awe-inspiring experience. But it’s not just about power; YAMATO also creates delicate music, crafting a palette of meticulously curated sound and earning them the title of “physical music.”

Recommended for grades K-12

Student Matinee Tickets
$8 Students | $20 Additional Adults
One free adult chaperone ticket is provided for every ten student tickets.
Download the Student Matinee Ticket Order Form

Bring your class for free!

Kentucky K-12 public schools are eligible to receive FREE student tickets thanks to the Norton Center’s Arts for the Classroom Ticket Subsidy (ACTS) program. ACTS funding is only available to subsidize the cost of student tickets. For more information, visit our Matinees + Programs page.


YAMATO drummers on stage with their drumsYAMATO is a Japanese Taiko drumming group based in Asuka-mura Nara Prefecture, which is known by the Japanese as the hometown of Japan. “YAMATO, the Taiko drumming group that travels all over the world.” They have performed more than 4,500 shows across 54 countries since they were founded in 1993. 

 YAMATO’s Taiko work cannot be fully described by the word “performance.” They have performed in theaters, schools, events, and have held workshops and Taiko lessons. They spend a half year touring in Japan and a half year touring the world. Their motto is, “We go everywhere when somebody needs YAMATO! And bring energy to the people living in the world!” 

On stage, they stand with more than 40 Taiko drums, all with different characters. The largest drum, called “Odaiko,” was produced from a huge tree over 400 years old and is approximately two meters in diameter and weighs 500 kg. All other Taiko drums are different sizes and have different sounds. 

The group members have trained their bodies to the limit to beat the massive Taiko drums.  The acoustic pressure far surpasses what one could imagine. They do not simply make their Taiko drums explode with sound; they produce delicate music that provides the listener with a palette of meticulously crafted sound. This is why YAMATO’s original performances are known as “Physical music,” and continue to receive high acclaim worldwide. YAMATO is sometimes intense, sometimes sad, sometimes comforting, and in the next moment comical on stage. 

Please note that the Norton Center is a historic venue with limited accessible seating. Special reserved wheelchair and companion seating is available for all shows. Interpretive services and large print programs are available upon request at least 20 days in advance of the performance. Please call the Box Office at 859-236-4692 to request assistance with your accommodations.

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