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Global Drums pound out the rhythms of Asia for this year’s concert

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Like the old song  says, Global Drums want to bang on a drum all day, but the local percussion ensembles’ March 31 and April 1 concerts at University Theatre will be more than just making a lot of racket. It will be a cultural experience.

Global Drums member  Marc Vantoly plays a Japanese Taiko drum. Photo by Richard Amery
“They’re performing music from Japan and India and there will be traditional dance from West Africa,” said U of L director of percussion, Adam Mason, who is excited to present this year’s global a concert with co director Joe Porter.


“It tells a story, it’s very visual, it’s not just making sounds,” Mason said.


“One of the pieces is called Golden Pheasant, which shows the life of a pheasant,” he said, adding another piece reflects the sound of falling walnuts.


“These pieces are originally performed by the ordinary guy— Joe Farmer and Joe Villager, not College graduates or professional musicians,” he continued.


 The ensemble travels the world looking for inspiration and learning from the best world musicians performing.
 They were in Hawaii in February.


“This is a top tier percussion ensemble,” said Mason, adding the 75 members range in age from university of Lethbridge students to seniors and include not only students, teachers, community member, U of L professors and more.


The selections for this concert were inspired by the ensemble’s travels to Hong Kong and China, where they will be selling a set of their steel drums to an ensemble over there.

“We travel to China and western Africa performing, listening and learning from the best,” Mason said, noting later in the year the ensemble will be going to Beijing in August and Shanghai in October.
 The concert will feature the ensemble’s always popular Trinidad-Tobago steel drums group as well as the Taiko drumming ensemble.

He noted the ensemble often competes against ensembles composed of professional  musicians and MFAs and often place in the top three as they did at the University of Calgary in March when they were competing in the Day of Percussion competition at
“We’re a world class, top tier ensemble,” he said.

Global Drums’ annual concert features music from China this year. Photo by Richard Amery
“There will be Chinese drums lined up all across the stage. There really will be something for everyone,” he continued, adding tickets for the annual concert sell quickly.


They rotate through a variety of percussion styles for each annual concert, except for the steel drum band, which is a mainstay.


“We rotate every year,” he said.


 He looks forward to preparing the concert every year.
“I love the entire process of rehearsal, so  when the concert is over it’s like, awwwe, the concert is over, he said.


“ And I love watching the performance happening,” he said, adding there is a big surprise at the end.
Global Drums tickets are available at the University Box Office, Monday - Friday (12:30 p.m . - 3:30 p.m.) or by calling (403) 329-2616. Tickets are also available online at ulethbridge.ca/tickets. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 seniors & alumni, and $12 students.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 March 2017 14:57 )  
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