Along with the flute, the drum is the oldest and most organic of instruments. It dates back to 5500 BC and Neolithic culture in China where there was evidence of alligator skin drums. Drums and drumming play an essential role in culture, in spirituality, healing, and communicating. Only in Europe, did drums take on a subsidiary role. The symbolism of the circle with no end and no beginning, be it African log drums, Brazilian pandeiros, Cuban congas, or a Shaman’s hoop drum. Drumming worldwide is an interpretation of life itself, and while not possessing phonics, it does possess its own syntax and language.

The mysterious power of the human hand striking a skin often wrapped around wood. It creates a vibration that communicates out into the universe. Subtle or profound, on the dance floor or in secret ceremonies, drums always move us.

Be they leaders or accompanists, drummers provide an essential foundation to the core of the music played. Whether it’s Indian table, Native American skins, standard drum kits, or a myriad of percussion instruments, listening to drums take you on a journey.

Not to worry, there’ll be no 10-minute drum solos but there will be a fantastic cross-section as The Jazz River endeavors to Give The Drummer Some. This Sunday, August 22, at 5 pm on KUVO JAZZ.

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