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Joji Hirota & the London Taiko Drummers

Japan/UK

The master of taiko drumming

Joji Hirotahas been connected to WOMAD for the best part of three decades now, ever since he turned up at our base in Wiltshire to take part in one of the legendary Real World Recording Weeks for our sister label, Real World Records. He’d already been living in the UK for 20-odd years by then, working as the musical director of a leading dance company. Since then, he’s become the premier proponent of Japanese taiko drummer, leading his own troupe all over the world to rapturous acclaim for their thundering and joyfulsound. That Joji’s been away from his native Japan for almost half a century invariably means that other styles and influences have informed and enhanced his music. “I happen to be a Japanese man,” he explains, “but as a musician I am drawing on all thesetraditions to create my own.