Wadaiko x "Black Gospel" Fusion is a groundbreaking concert performance, combining a 300-voice Japanese "Black Gospel" choir with traditional Japanese "taiko" drum. Filmed live in Tokyo on in 2009, this is the first ever documented performance of these two vastly different traditions.
Taiko drum has been a traditional form of Japanese music for hundreds of years, and it is deeply personal to the Japanese expression of identity. Taiko experienced a 20th century revival in Japan in 1951, under the influence of master drummer Daihachi Oguchi.
The surprising roots of "Black Gospel" in Japan also date back to the 1950s, through a series of Mahalia Jackson concerts. For some unexplained reason only in Japan is this genre called "Black Gospel." Various performers and musicals have since kept the "Black Gospel" tradition alive in mainstream Japanese society. "Black Gospel" re-emerged in Japan in a pop-cultural explosion with the release of the 1992 film Sister Act starring Whoopi Goldberg. Since then hundreds of "Black Gospel" choirs have sprung up all over Japan. This video features a Tokyo based Wadaiko troupe called Masturiza and the combined choirs of Hallelujah Gospel Family.
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