My drum journey has been 33 years long so far and has taken me on my most amazing adventures
The roots of my drum journey extend back to the peek of the reggae scene in Toronto in the early 80's. My first drum was the conga. I was the percussionist for a rather radical Kensington Market reggae band with passionate messages regarding politics and the environment. I was blessed to cross paths with some amazing drummer/teachers who launched me well on my way. My first drum teacher was Chi Sharpe percussionist for Harry Belafonte and then in Canada, Bruce Cockburn.
After graduating art school in the early 90's I moved my small family to Nova Scotia for a better living environment. Nobody was ready to community drum here yet. I waited 7 years and then the time was right.. Since then I have drummed/taught/sang throughout the Maritimes and Ontario. My focus shifted from Reggae and Latin to West African. I have been very blessed to study with many teachers and I consider my true drum Master to be Famoudou Konate.
At some point my own roots and drumming merged. I didn't find out about my own heritage until my mid 30's and the drum lead me to a new direction. I discovered the Tar ( frame drum). This time the drum had me travelling for the first time to the land of my ancestors( Cyprus) where I spent sacred time with the Frame Drummers of Cyprus who had drummed extensively with Layne Redmond( author of When the Drummers were Women). I had heard about Layne and owned her book but her wisdom , I was finally ready for. Upon returning to Canada, I then travelled for 6 months to Maine to study Layne"s work with two of her long time students. and completed the 6 month frame drum intensive titled Giving Birth to Ourselves.
I love travelling to peoples communities to teach and share time. I also have embraced experiential and sacred drumming. Sometimes we gather in the woods, sometimes on mountain tops, sometimes in boats singing to Whales, Dolphins and our wonderful Waterways, and sometimes in YOUR livingroom :)
Sometimes the drum has us create birthing and baby ceremonies. Sometimes we send people's Spirit on to the other side. Sometimes we drum to transform trauma. Sometimes we drum to celebrate Life.
Who knows where the rhythm will take us next?
The drum knows!