Therefore, I guess, it was perfectly logical for him to eventually take up the drums and that he did. He did this more seriously and still plays today. He even put together a small band called Pockets of Wonder in his town of Traverse City, Michigan.
When I told my wife I was going to write about the 2nd Annual Festival of the Drum, she said, “Oh, you have done that before!” True, see it here. Then again, I have written about some art fairs annually for a period of time and I think the festival of the drum is more fun and a lot shorter! Unfortunately, some of my favorite performers from last year did not make it this time but there was plenty to keep us entertained. There also did not seem to be as big an audience as last year, but that may have been deceiving since everyone was trying to find shade under the portal or among the trees on this very hot autumn day. The Museum Hill Café was also full, hiding a lot of people who were enjoying their lunch with entertainment.
We did not stay for the entire 4 hours of drums but we did see the majority of the players. There were 2 sets by Native Americans, as well as one group playing Japanese drums and another Vietnamese group. The latter was from Albuquerque.
We arrived when the Japanese drums were in their final frenzy, which was most exciting with its different sized drums. Taiko Sol is a collaborative drumming project in Santa Fe. The participants are born in the U.S. and their interpretations of the music are distinctly American. Taiko in Japanese refers to various percussion instruments, but outside of Japan usually refers just to the drum. Sol is the Spanish word for Sun. Their teacher is of Lithuanian and French Canadian heritage. One of the performers, Alliyah Noor, who gave me the players backgrounds is of Pakistani and German heritage, and another performer’s family came from Japan. American ensemble Taiko has evolved in the States from the older more traditional form.
There were two Native American Groups. The first we saw was the Black Eagle Drum Group from Jemez Pueblo. As it was put on line they”…brought honor, big time, to Jemez Pueblo and to all of New Mexico when they won a Grammy for Best Native American Music Album…, Flying Free” They have also won other awards. They are now writing their own songs in their ancient Towa language. Their leader, Malcom Lepa, explained that when they started out in 1989, at first, they “sounded like a bunch of coyotes in the river”. They have vastly improved