Culture Shock Miami Presents TAO: Drum Heart

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Ancient Japanese art of Taiko mixes percussion with athleticism at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

Culture Shock Miami presents TAO: Drum Heart on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 8:00 PM on the Main Stage of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.

TAO: Drum Heart is the latest production from TAO, the 25-year-old Japanese drum and dance ensemble. Members of the company, professional artists dedicated to perfecting their virtuosity with the centuries old Japanese percussion instruments called “taiko”, perform traditional and contemporary music and dance amid lavish sets and dazzling costumes. The Miami-Dade performance is part of a world tour that has covered 24 countries and has been seen by almost 8 million people.

Watch a video teaser at

Taiko drumming is considered to have originated in 6th Century Japan and refers to a variety of traditional percussion instruments, from small and hand-held to those that are so large that they rest vertically on the ground and are played on their sides.

Breaking past the traditional notions of Taiko since it was formed in 1993, TAO has created an entirely new art form that is modern yet retains a sense of nostalgia. The performers are both highly-trained athletes and expressive artists. Their rigorous training in TAO’s home of Oita, Japan often consists of daily workouts lasting 17 hours. The music they create in different genres and with traditional instruments result in a unique production, using world-class techniques and specialized methods.

Here is what critics and journalists had to say about TAO:

.“Extraordinarily talented percussion artists … The crowd was unmistakably wowed.” —Chicago Tribune

“A beautiful story, simple and elegant… an experience to be had." —Stage Buddy

“Supernaturally fit and superbly trained… stunning." —The Herald

Full price tickets range from $20 to $37.50. These tickets are available online at or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300. Limited $5 tickets are available for ages 13-22 exclusively through With the purchase of a $5 ticket for a 13-22 year old, a second $5 ticket can be purchased for someone of any age. $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office or through Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end at 3 pm on Friday, March 16, 2018. Proof of age eligibility and TicketWeb email confirmation are required when picking-up tickets at will call. Recommended for all ages. The Center is located at 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay.


TAO was established in 1993 in Aichi prefecture, Japan, with the goal of entertaining the world with the art of “Wadaiko” or “Taiko” for short. In 1995, to pursue an even deeper creative environment, TAO moved to the Kuju area of Taketa city, Oita prefecture, Kyushu Island – the site of the legendary Aso Kuju National Park. Based in Kuju, TAO developed its own vision for original theater arts, costumes and staging. A production office was established in Fukuoka, the biggest city in Kyushu Island to present shows both inside and outside of Japan, as well as design and produce video. TAO made an appearance in 2004 and 2005 at the world-renowned art and music festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland, UK. TAO holds the honor of top ticket sales for two consecutive years. A world tour followed, with headliner shows at arena’s in Taiwan for two consecutive years and an appearance at the Vancouver Olympics. During the North American tour, TAO was received with glowing reviews in the media and all 50 shows were sold out. In 2010, in collaboration with the overseas endeavors of Hakata Ippudo Ramen, a special shop was opened fusing food and theater with a Japanese aesthetic. The project conveys the innovative spirit of TAO.


CULTURE SHOCK MIAMI, a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, is designed to introduce the next generation of audience members to live arts and cultural experiences at the age when they are beginning to make their own entertainment decisions. Based on research that shows most people begin their appreciation for the arts at a young age, Culture Shock Miami is founded on the premise that when teens and young adults make the arts a regular entertainment choice, they are more likely to become full-price ticket buyers and subscribers in the future. Culture Shock Miami (also known as offers teens and young adults ages 13-22, $5 tickets to top music, theatre, and dance performances, as well as admission to museums, landmarks, and cultural destinations in Miami-Dade County. Tickets are on sale now through With the purchase of a $5 ticket for a 13-22 year old, a second $5 ticket can be purchased for someone of any age. For more information about this exciting program, please call Christina Tassy-Beauvoir at 305-375-1949 or contact Mary-Margaret Dale at 305-375-4987.


The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department also manages, programs and operates the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a campus of state-of-the-art cultural facilities in Cutler Bay, as well as Miami-Dade County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, all dedicated to presenting and supporting excellence in the arts for the entire community. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.

It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible and assistive listening devices are available. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte at 786-573-5314, at least five days in advance to initiate your request, TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).

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Stephen Belth

Christina Tassy-Beauvoir
Arts Marketing Network
since: 12/2011
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