START THE FESTIVAL SEASON WITH US!

OPENING CEREMONY

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE JAPAN FOUNDATION

Get ready for the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival and watch world-renowned performers as we welcome springtime to Washington, DC!

Celebrate the anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan to the United States while enjoying spirited traditional and contemporary performances in the historic Warner Theatre.


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Anna Sato X Toshiyuki Sasaki

An alternative musical ensemble featuring Anna Sato, a master of shima-uta (traditional folk songs of Amami Island) and a drummer, Toshiyuki Sasaki.

Shima-uta is a singing tradition in which the voice is simply accompanied by a drum called chijin.? This ensemble creates a new sound while embracing the fundamental composition by combining the sounds of shima-uta, sanshin (traditional three-stringed instrument from Amami Island), Amami harp (traditional vertical harp of Amami Island) and the western drums.??

?Ms. Sato began learning shima-uta from her grandfather, Sumio Megumi, from age three and won multiple awards while growing up. Her professional debut came after performing at the opening of EXPO2005. ?This opening event was produced by Kansai Yamamoto, internationally acclaimed fashion designer. In 2013 and 2015, she performed in the musical Les Miserables in the role of Fantine. Then she caught the eye of renowned Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and performed shima-uta in his dance production titled ICON. In the production of Cuentos De Azucar (Sugar Tales), Anna collaborated with Flamenco’s leading dancer and director Eva Yerbabuena. In 2018, she sang the theme of NHK’s yearlong period drama, Segodon and also appeared in the drama in the role of a family member of the protagonist.

Mr. Sasaki’s drumming style is often praised as being poetically sensitive, yet very powerful based on Japanese cultural traditions. His own band, Nautilus, was formed in 2014 and is distributed through a German music label. As a result, they have received a great deal of praises from overseas.

Anna Sato x Toshiyuki Sasaki, have performed as a musical ensemble in Paris and also at a choir festival held in Corsica, in 2016, which brought them international acclaim. They have been actively performing domestically as well as internationally.

GoGo Symphony

The critically acclaimed GoGo Symphony plays symphonies that people can dance to. It celebrates go-go music, a sub-genre of funk that is the official music of Washington DC. Its main features are lively swinging polyrhythm and audience participation.

The Go-Go Symphony incorporates the rollicking features of go-go with the musical expression of a classical symphony to create thunderous, percussive atmosphere. Depending on your budget, it can be performed in collaboration with a full classical symphonic ensemble, or as a more compact ensemble. It has sold out shows and received much media attention and critical acclaim.

According to the Washington Post, “It brought the sold-out house to its feet, cheering…” during its world premiere at the Atlas Performing Arts Center with the Capital City Symphony. Influential pop and classical music journalist Greg Sandow calls the project “maverick” in the classical world. “It didn’t simply combine pop and classical music – that’s been done quite a lot – but also brought together pop and classical musicians. And in a long-term collaboration…” On the other side, Kato Hammond, author of the top go-go music news website “Take Me Out to the Go-Go,” predicts this project will bring go-go music to a wider audience.

Naotaro Moriyama

Naotaro Moriyama is a songwriter and J-pop singer who has appeared in numerous music scenes, TV programs and on radio programs since his debut in 2002. Mr. Moriyama’s lyrics represent his own distinct worldview that is firmly rooted in Japanese cultural tradition, and his clear and impressive singing voice along with his guitar techniques have attracted a wide range of fans, spanning generations. His second major single, “Sakura (Cherry Blossom)”, was a smash hit and has been considered by many Japanese to be the song most emblematic of the spring season in Japan, and remains extremely popular at karaoke and high school graduation ceremonies. Mr. Moriyama has been featured three times in NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen (NHK Red & White Year-End Song Festival), a prestigious music TV program with almost 70 years of history that is aired at New Year’s Eve by Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, both nationally and internationally. In recent years, he has been undertaking new challenges by writing for a wider range of music genres, such as anime theme songs, as well as creating a new style of music performance showcasing his own music.

CO-PRESENTER

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS

DENSO International America, Inc.
EventEQ
Japan National Tourism Organization
Kawasaki Heavy Industries (USA), Inc.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America
MUFG Bank, Ltd.
The National Press Club

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

MEDIA SPONSORS

CLOSEST METRO

Metro Center

PARKING

We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation app.

To reserve your parking spot for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony, visit the Warner Theatre SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.

New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

WHEELCHAIR AND HEARING-IMPAIRED SEATING REQUESTS

To request wheelchair seating or hearing-impaired seating (requiring an ASL interpreter), contact the National Cherry Blossom Festival ticket manager at tickets@ncbfdc.org. Wheelchair and hearing-impaired seating requests are limited to two per patron.
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