hey bang the drums: New-age musician Kitaro (left) and Native American leader Dennis Banks meet up in Tokyo at a party that showcased their joint album, "Let Mother Earth Speak." SACHIKO TAMASHIGE
By SACHIKO TAMASHIGE
Special to The Japan Times
"Kitaro and I were destined to meet each other," Dennis Banks tells The Japan Times. "Our beliefs are similar: Mother Earth, who we are ... we are all the children of this Earth."
Banks, 75, is a Native American activist and leader of the Anishinaabe people from northern Minnesota. He is known for leading the Longest Walk in 1978, a pilgrimage of 26 Native Americans who walked across the United States to draw attention to Native American rights.
In November, Banks reunited with new-age music composer Kitaro (real name: Masanori Takahashi) in the posh Omotesando district of Tokyo at a party to showcase their album, "Let Mother Earth Speak." Kitaro, 59, is a Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist regarded as a pioneer in the new age genre.
"The recording session went smoothly as being in Kitaro's studio made me want to sing," Banks adds. "There were more than a hundred instruments in his studio. Just being with Kitaro playing all sorts of instruments inspired me to sing stronger and higher."