Earth Celebration 2020 (Sado Island, Niigata)

Photo: Takashi Okamoto


Earth Celebration (EC) is an international arts & culture festival set in the rich natural splendour of Sado Island in the Sea of Japan. Kodo has a long history of extensive touring and this vibrant event provides the perfect chance for the ensemble to invite some of the many artists and cultural gurus they encounter on their travels to visit them at home. At EC, artists, locals, and festivalgoers alike come together to seek new global culture through collaboration and exchange. Hosted in tandem with Sado City since 1998, EC offers three days of exciting live performances and unique opportunities to enjoy the culture, nature, and tastes of Sado Island.

The main events at the heart of EC are the Harbour Market Concerts at Ogi Port Park.
This year on Day 1, we’ll jumpstart the festivities with a high-energy Kodo performance.
On Day 2, we are excited collaborate with The Voices of South Africa, a 7-strong acapella group making its EC debut! Join us for a special night of feel-good melodies and powerful reverberations.
On Day 3, the lineup will end in true EC style with an extravaganza reserved for this event alone: a special performance by the entire Kodo ensemble!

At EC Theater, the performances will commemorate Tomohiro Mitome’s 30th year with Kodo. He’s invited guest artists Shuichi Hidano and Miyake-jima Geino Doshikai to help him celebrate this milestone.

Join us this summer for the 33rd Earth Celebration!
For further details, please visit the Earth Celebration Official Website.

▪Main Event Dates: Aug. 21 (Fri)–23 (Sun)
▪Location: Events held all over Sado Island, Niigata, Japan (Main concerts and market place held in Ogi area)

Aug. 21 (Fri), 2020 Harbour Market Concert “Kodo Night —Utsu— (Beat the Drum)” *Working Title


Yuki Hirata (Kodo)



Aug. 22 (Sat), 2020 Harbour Market Concert “Kodo x The Voices of South Africa: Festival of the Earth”


Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga


The Voices of South Africa, Kodo

Aug. 23 (Sun), 2020 Harbour Market Concert “Kodo All-Star Special Performance”


Mitsuru Ishizuka (Kodo)


Kodo All Stars

Aug. 21 (Fri), 2020 EC Theatre *Title TBA


Yuichiro Funabashi


Shuichi Hidano, Kodo

Aug. 22 (Sat), 2020 EC Theatre *Title TBA


Yuichiro Funabashi


Miyake-jima Geino Doshikai, Kodo


EC 2020 Special Guest Artist The Voices of South Africa

This year, we welcome a special guest artist from afar to EC: The Voices of South Africa!

During a visit to South Africa in June 2019, Kodo performer Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga met up with this seven-person acapella group. Their exchange led to the launch of a collaborative project.

The collaboration kicks off in February 2020 with two concerts in Belgium: “Kodo meets The Voices of South Africa” at Brugges Festival on Feb. 23 and 24. Then in August, The Voices of South Africa will come to Japan and Sado Island to appear with Kodo at EC 2020. It’s been a long time since guest artists from the African continent have made the long journey to EC. We can’t wait to hear their sound meld with Japanese instruments and voices when they meet Kodo on stage this summer!

The Voices of South Africa

The Voices of South Africa is a seven-strong acapella group from Johannesburg. The ensemble was created by merging two existing groups: African Queens and Amarayoni. The members—four men and three women—have a 150 years of combined experience.

Leader Stella Khumalo received a Lifetime Achievement in Music award in South Africa in 2016. In her 20s, she became a backing singer for renowned singer Miriam Makeba, a.k.a. Mama Africa, before going on to appear on albums by leading artists such as Paul Simon, Johnny Clegg, Chaka Khan, Cyndi Lauper, and Simply Red. Her graceful vocals were also featured on the silver screen in “The Lion King” and “The Power of One.” In 2013, Khumalo directed the vocals for “Long Walk To Freedom,” a biographical film about Nelson Mandela. She also appeared in the opening ceremony lineup of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Voices of South Africa ​​uncovers the great diversity in original South African music. Their eclectic melting pot of voices gives unique color to the music from gospel to mbaganga. Their arrangements add new dimension to the heritage of South African music.