Wadaiko Rindo performed to many in Tonga

Wadaiko Rindo drummer group performed to a thousand of audience in Nuku‘alofa during their four day tour to the Kingdom, under a cultural join initiative of the Embassy of Japan and Japan foundation supporting the Heilala Festival 2016 celebration.

H.E Mr. Yukio Numata Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga welcomed the visiting drummer group to a music night and dinner on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 at his residence in ‘Anana. He highlighted in his welcoming address that, “Culture defines our identity and our uniqueness, and it is also a platform to connect with other countries.” The Ambassador also noted that the tour coincides with the 20th Anniversary of Wadaiko Rindo.

Tonga's renowned musicians and composers Mrs. Tu’imala Kaho, Malukava and Mr. Motuliki Fakatava were amongst the invited guest along with Hon. Fe’ao Vakata, Minister for Internal Affairs and Mr. Siamelia Latu the Deputy Secretary of Tonga’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two local drummer groups from Folaha and Tatakamotonga village were also invited to witness, exchange and share knowledge with the Wadaiko Rindo drummer group.

Over a thousand of spectators were fortunate to witness the Wadaiko Rindo perform in front of Hon. Salote Lupepau’u Taione and Hon. Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano at the Multi-Cultural Night for the Heilala Festival, held at the Queen Salote Memorial Hall on Thursday, 30 June, and at the Block Party on Friday, 1 July at the Digicel Square.

Amongst viewers and who also had a good view of the drumming performances of the Wadaiko Rindo was the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva. Seven children were also overjoyed when given the opportunity to beat the Japanese drums during a short workshop on stage, at the Digicel Square, celebrating the Block Party.

Wadaiko Rindo was formed in 1996 in Melbourne, Australia by Japan’s professional drummer Mr. Toshinori Sakamoto. The group’s first tour to Tonga was in 2010, this year’s tour was joined by two other group members Mr. Daisuke Kawakami and Ms. Yukiko Shoya.

Embassy of Japan acknowledged the collaboration from Japan Foundation, and the generous assistance from Tonga’s Ministry of Tourism and the Heilala Festival Committee 2016 in promoting international cultural exchange and enhancing the people of Tonga’s knowledge into Japan’s culture.

H.E Mr. Yukio Numata with Hon. Fe’ao Vakata, Minister for Internal Affairs along with Tonga’s renowned musicians Tu’imala Kaho and Malukava, and Wadaiko Rindo drummer group, the local drummer group at the Music Night and Dinner on Wednesday, 29 June 2016.       


                Demonstration by local drummers from Folaha village            Multi-Cultural Night on Thursday night, 30 June

Guest of honour at the Multi-Cultural Night, Hon. Lupepau’u Tuita Taione and Hon. Fanetupouvava’u Tuita Tu’ivakano(Left)             

H.E Mr. Yukio Numata with Wadaiko Rindo group after their performance at the Block Party on Friday, 1 July 2016(Right)

     Performance at the Block Party from Digicel Square, 1 July 2016.            Workshop for kids with Wadaiko Rindo at the Block Party.