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Where Did It Come From? How Did It Happen? Drum Festivals

Contrary to popular belief, the first drums made their appearance in ancient China. A form of a drum festival was held in their religious ceremonies and rituals. Drums went on to be used in wars and as forms of communication (as in sending messages). Africa (whom had already introduced tribal type drums) and Cuba came on the scene in the 1800’s putting bongos as an advantage for a portable beat in gatherings of fellow drummers and dancers.  Drum festivals came from a variety of drummers and followers coming together from all over the world.

Lets look at a few of the key players whom have made a spotlight in the drumming world in addition to the fine examples handed us from remote regions and other well known examples of fine drum and percussion work such as Spain and Africa. You can count almost every country of the world as having a contribution to the drum festival. 

  • Nova Scotia- Nova Scotia has set a fine example in the Rock & Roll world with the Cape Breton International Drum Festival organized in 2001. It is a yearly event happening around the beginning of May with a workshop type class on the second day. Many famous drummers have taken the stage there including the ones from the band “Styx” and “Yes”, for you classical dreamers.
  •  Japan- Who would ever think of the “Taiko” as being a star player. The Taiko represents a large role of Japanese percussion type instruments often referred to as “Wadaiko”, or Japanese drums. In late July of every year, many gather in front of the Matsumo Castle for the Japanese Wadaiko Drum Festival.  It is exciting, note worthy, and also FREE OF CHARGE. Now you can’t BEAT that.

Continent of the “Caribbean”-  The seven islands of the archipelago known as the area of Gaudeloupe is home to the Gwoka. The Gwoka represents the most undiluted and purest form of what we know as a “Festival of the Drums” and the celebration it represents. Gwoka, French Creole wordage, simply means “Big Drum”. The Gwoka came in existence, as currently known, during the transatlantic slave trade era of the 17th century.

The drum festival of Gwoka served as an inspiration for the current day drum festival in Grenada, home to the “Tivoli Drummers” and birthplace of the GRENADA DRUM FESTIVAL. Here you will experience a rich style of choreographed drumming seemingly not excelled or paralleled any place else on the Earth. This is definitely worth checking out as part of a pure roots pack for all drum festival goers seeking a total experience.

A lot of this requires a lot of planning and outsourcing to local companies. If we’re lucky we’ll find a local concrete company, however more often than not we’ll fly someone out like our friends over at concrete buffalo. If the service is good we’re willing to pay top dollar.

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