By Libby B
Following a recent sell-out performance in Beijing, London’s Barbican Centre will be the host to a breath-taking performance of virtuosic drumming and powerful theatre as Taiwan’s Ju Percussion Group heads to London for the first time.
The show takes place on 5 October and forms part of a European tour to celebrate the group’s 30th anniversary. The ensemble’s anniversary tour comprises four concerts in four European capital cities, performing in four major European concert halls: the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Musiekgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus in Berlin and finally culminating at the Barbican in London.
The acclaimed ensemble presents a sensational fusion of traditional Asian, Western classical and contemporary drumming showcasing musicianship at its finest. The thrillingly staged and seamlessly choreographed show features an exotic range of over 300 pieces of percussion instruments from gongs, drums and marimbas to Lion Dance drums and bamboo percussion from Indonesia.
The Ju Percussion Group will be a must-see show not merely to aficionados of drumming and percussion, but to anyone who enjoys seeing and hearing the grace and beauty of masters at the top of their game – a real feast for the senses.
Founded by Ju Tzong-Ching back in January 1986, the Ju Percussion Group has since put on more than 2,500 performances, wowing audiences worldwide with their sublime musicality and showmanship revolutionising percussion playing in Taiwan. The group has played in 28 different countries around the world to date, and has cultivated more than 130,000 percussionists by means of its well-established instruction system, while also commissioning the creation of as many as 214 new pieces. The growth of the Ju Percussion Group is a reflection of the development of contemporary percussion on the island of Taiwan and has cemented the ensemble as national treasures in their home country.
When the Ju Percussion Group was first established, most people in Taiwan were unfamiliar with the genre of percussion music. Thanks to the group’s activities, the Ju Percussion Group soon became a household name throughout the island. In 1987, the group left the concert hall and gave a series of outdoor performances at tourist attractions and in historic buildings. The group also organises concerts specially designed for young children. While striving to uncover more potential audiences, the Ju Percussion Group also cooperates with cross-over artists to expand the limits of percussion music.
Earlier this year, Ju Tzong-Ching was awarded induction into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame. Established in 1972, The Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame recognises the contributions of the most highly regarded professional leaders in percussion performance, education, research, scholarship, administration, composition and the industry. The Society has only given this, the highest honour in the percussion world, to 120 drummers and percussionists since its inception with Ju now joining the likes of Ringo Starr, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Steve Reich.
The Ju Percussion Group will be performing at London’s Barbican on 5 October, 7.30pm.
For more details and ticketing information call the Barbican box office on 0207 638 8891 or visit www.barbican.org.uk.