Korean Drums and Dance

Tuesday, November 8, 7:30pm, Concert Hall 


Reserved Seating: $30, 25, 15; FC, GCC, STCC and 17 & under $10


“ SAMULNORI is a complete theatrical experience…”

New York Times

SamulNoriEnjoy the unique SamulNori drummers for this family friendly performance that matches unequalled energy and passion in performance by the artists. SamulNori is a group of eight dynamic musicians and dancers dedicated to performing and preserving traditional Korean music and dance. Under Kim Duk Soo, the group’s leader and master of the Changgo (hourglass shaped drum), SamulNori has become the leading traditional Korean performance group.The Korean words Sa and Mul mean “four things” and Nori means “play”. In the case of SamulNori, the four musicians play and dance with four percussion instruments. The origins of their music can be traced to what is usually referred to as farmers’ band music (Nongak). Since ancient times, farmers’ bands in Korea celebrate the autumn harvest, singing and dancing all day and night. SamulNori also incorporates the influences of folk and religious music and their intricate rhythms have become quite uniquely their own.

Kim Duk Soo the founder of SamulNori, has been recognized as one of the fifty most influential figures in Korea through the last five decades. The word "genius" should not be used to describe an individual with extraordinary talents, but rather an individual who uses those talents to inspire the best from those around him. In this sense, "genius" is a fit appellation for the leader of SamulNori. Chosen by his father out of eight other siblings to follow in his footsteps as a professional musician in the tradition of wandering artists, or “Namsadang” (the troupe of Korean Traditional Performing Arts), at the young age of seven he was awarded the President's citation for his performance ability, thus beginning an amazing personal career that has taken him to virtually every corner of the world.

He graduated from the Korean Traditional Music and Performing Arts School in Seoul. Aside from his talents as a performer, he has managed, directed and created numerous productions involving not only music, but also dance and theatre. With the formation of SamulNori in 1978, his life took on new and complicated dimensions. There were four specific purposes in forming the group: to research more extensively the traditional music of Korea, to study the music and instruments (especially percussion instruments) of other traditions throughout the world, to create new music and to provide educational opportunities for students and others to learn Korean percussion. Beating rhythms is an intensely spiritual experience for Kim Duk Soo, and what he has gained from that experience has been a source of growth of SamulNori. Today, in addition to a busy touring schedule, Mr. Kim teaches at the Korean National University of Arts and serves as artistic director of SamulNori Hanullim.