The three most important things you need to know about DDDC:
You don't need to be an experienced drummer to join us. This is recreational drumming. It's about showing up and enjoying
yourself. ALL skill levels are welcome. We're not auditioning for Santana.
2. You don't
need to own a drum. I have lots and I share.
3. Cost for participation: Free.
Drummers Drum Circle is an open, freestyle community drum circle hosted by Rick Cormier,
author of the book, "Freestyle Community Drum Circles". We recently moved from Yarmouth, Maine to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We
meet at 781 Bishops Lodge Rd. every 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30PM and we will also drum at The Performance Space at La Tienda in Eldorado (7 Caliente Rd., Santa Fe) each
3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM.
"Ours is an open, freestyle community drum circle. We are a diverse group of people sharing a common experience. During
the process of creating music together we create community. Our emphasis is on intuitive, improvised, and emotive rhythms
rather than rehearsed or traditional ones. We welcome your 'voice' in our group song.
Drumming is fun. Drumming can
change your mood and connect you powerfully with others. Drumming can entrance and heal. Drumming can provide a vehicle for
expressing joy, frustration and peace. Drumming can raise energies and provide relaxation. Whether we participate for the
spiritual experience, the emotional experience, the musical experience or the social experience, drumming can bring a dozen
hearts and souls to a dozen destinations. Yet we journey together...as a community."
What To Expect (this applied to our Yarmouth, Maine drum circle)
Different Drummers is known for our positive energy and welcoming atmosphere. Most of our drum pieces end
in either laughter or silence. We encourage participation by novices. When you decide to check us out, it is very unlikely
that you'll be the only first-timer there that night. If you don't yet own a drum, I usually bring extras which I share for
free. There is also no charge for participation. Come when you can and leave when you must. We drum until the last of us goes
home. In Maine, more than 600 people considered themselves DDDC members. Some people drummed with us 3 times a month
while others may joined us 3 times a year. It's all good.
We averaged 30 to 40 drummers per evening. Our participants were commonly about 65% women. We had singles, couples
and families who drum with us... children under 10 and seniors well into and beyond their 80's. As DDDC Santa Fe is just getting
started, it's impossible to say what our numbers will look like in ten years.
Expect to see African djembes, Middle Eastern doumbeks, frame drums, ashikos, congas, bongos, cajons and all sorts of rhythm
instruments. We have created incredible percussive backdrops to flute, harp, cello, sax, mandolin, blues harmonica, didgeridoo
and vocals. We welcome dancers.
Anyone may start a beat. That person sets the tempo and the tone of the piece. That guideline keeps us from
slipping into the same rhythm patterns. It also keeps the "Testosterone Tangos" from dominating. It allows us to sound African,
Latin, Middle Eastern, Native American, jazzy and purely creative...all in one evening. It allows us to weave
delicate percussive tapestries in which every note is a significant event.
The DDDC has an email list with regular reminders and announcements about DDDC and other local area drum circles and percussion-related
events and resources. Email me your name and email address to be added to that list.
In March of 2003, I offered a drum circle workshop to members of the First Universalist church in Yarmouth. We had
only moved into town 2 months prior. Twenty-two people took the workshop. When it was over I announced that we would start
drumming once a month. About a dozen people showed up. You can read all about our history on our website.
later, we drum three times a month in an attempt to keep our circle intimate. We average 30 - 40 participants each circle
with a record high of 100. A total of more than 2000 people have drummed with us. More than 600 people consider themselves
DDDC 'members'. We have drummed with participants from more than 26 countries, that I know of. Grace still holds the record
of having been our youngest drummer. (Those who remember Gracie will recall she actually kept a beat at 13 months old! She
drummed with us until she moved to Philadelphia at 19 months old.) Our most senior drummer is Ann, who turned 94 last November.
When I've invited guest drumming teachers to lead a workshop, Ann hasn't missed an opportunity to learn some more drumming!
I want to mention Laura. Many of you who have drummed with us over the past year know Laura as a 'regular' on most
Friday nights. Laura was born with cerebral palsy and autism. We all see the trouble she has crossing the room and speaking,
but when the drumming starts, her 'handicap' disappears. Is anyone in the room having a better time than Laura? ...okay...
Maybe me. ;-) ...But if there is ever a time I wonder if hosting this drum circle for free makes any difference to anyone,
I'll consider what it has meant to Laura.
We're a musically-creative bunch. We have drummed wonderful backgrounds to
flute, blues harmonica, dulcimer, saxophone, keyboards, oboe, clarinet, guitar, electric bass, upright bass, mouth organ,
didgeridoo, berimbau, marimba, harp, cello, steel drums, mandolin, kirtan, singing voices and poetry. We have had percussion
instruments as diverse as a folding chair, a saw, a washboard, a post-hole digger, a Ronco Garden Weasel and even an
ocarina app on an iPhone!
For ten years I've sat at my computer each week and tried to convey drumming-related
information in an entertaining way (via the weekly DDDC news blurbs) after having done this in Massachusetts since the 90's.
Do the math. Even I'm impressed! ;-)
For ten years, a roomful of virtual strangers with very little in common
with one another have shared evenings making music together. Sometimes raucous, sometimes introspective, sometimes incredibly
beautiful, and sometimes ridiculously funny!
Were you there the night the crowd started singing "The Sound of Music"
in the middle of a drum piece? Or the Wizard of Oz medley?
I get to be there three times a month...
(and a fourth time in Waterville!)
P.S. ...and now I get to do it again in Santa Fe!! :-)
Judy and I were asked to provide music at a local church this past Sunday. The church videographer asked if he could post
our music on YouTube. We've played for so many churches but have seldom seen video footage. In this clip we're improvising
a Middle Eastern piece at the beginning, a Native American piece at about the 1:50 mark, and then I stop restraining myself
and cut loose for our last piece at around the 3:30 mark. I'm sure the poor sound guy must have gone nuts trying to adjust
my levels! You can hear the sound level being reduced several times. LOL! Not to worry... You can always kick up the sound
yourself! wink emoticon (...Gee, do I look funny when I cut loose!)
Each year, a bunch of us from Different Drummers Drum Circle (Maine)used to drum in the Yarmouth Clam Festival Parade.
ANNOUNCEMENT: As of January, 2016 DDDC will be drumming in the main sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church at
107 W. Barcelona St (corner of Galisteo) in Santa Fe on the first Sunday of each month. Same time: 6:30 PM. Still free.
Saturday, Rick has been drumming for several kirtan artists. Each Saturday evening, he drums for the Bhakti Boogie Band
at the Community Yoga Center, 826 Camino de Monte Rey, Suite 1B; Most Saturday evenings with Jivan at 106 Avenida Azul in
Eldorado. This Friday, 11/27/15 at 3PM, Rick will drum with Mata Mandir Singh, who has recorded 28 albums since the late 1970's.
"Attitude of Gratitude Concert", Sikh Ashram, 01A Ram Das Guru Place, Espanola, NM
Saturday, November 21, 2015 3 PM. Different Drummers Band's 2nd gig! We'll play a set at the Storytellers Feast at La
Tienda's Performance Space to raise money for the Santa Fe Food Pantry.
"Intro to Drum Circles Workshop" This 3-part workshop will take place on September 8, 15 and 22 at 6:30 PM in Santa
Fe. Price of the entire workshop is $50. pre-paid. Participation is limited to 12. Email if interested or for more info.
Saturday, August 15, 2015 Eastern Mass Rhythm Festival, Uxbridge, MA. http://rhythmfestival.org/
Saturday, August 29, 2015: DDDC Santa Fe's performance troupe debuts at the Neighboring Faiths Fiesta. 1:30PM St.
John's Church grounds, Santa Fe.
Saturday, December 13, 2014: Rick & Judy play the pueblo! We have been asked to perform at the Arts and Crafts
Fair at the gym in the San Ildefonso pueblo. We go on at around 11AM (this means some time before noon) We plan to do some
drum duets and some flute/drum improvisations. All are invited.
My book, "Freestyle Community
Drum Circles." is available (See "My Book" link on far left) on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and wherever fine
books are sold. ;-) The news is that last summer it started selling in Europe! How cool is that? There are loads of books
available on facilitated drum circles but mine is the first to advocate freestyle circles, the goal
of "shared leadership", and the importance of allowing participants to have their own individual experience, be it spiritual,
creative, or community-building. Oh, and rumor has it it's pretty funny, too. Anyone I drum with gets a reduced rate
of $12. (Considerable cheaper than Amazon.com). See me at the drum circle.
I have copies of my third (and favorite) book, "My Life Cracks Me Up", for sale
at $15. each (They retail for $19.99).
Also, see me at the drum circle for superball mallets,
DDDC T-shirts or bumper stickers.