Each year in Newport one of the harbingers of the summer tourist season has been the sound of primeval drums ringing through historic Nye Beach.
But there are no drums to be heard in Nye Beach this year and no visitors to hear them. The drums that would have signaled the Newport Community Drum Circle’s 13th season have been silenced due to the statewide “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.
But the drum circle’s coordinator, Chandler Davis, says the venerable non-profit organization has no intention of dipping silently below the horizon.
“We’ve been looking into this for some time ... and we have come up with an online model for a virtual community rhythm format using the Zoom conferencing platform that will preserve most of the therapeutic and community building benefits and other joys and benefits of group drumming and music participation.” he said. “I believe it’s also the best way for us to preserve the excitement, variety, and fun of our large outdoor summer stage shows and other live performance events in the safest way possible.”
The premier broadcast of the new free and family friendly Virtual Global Drum Circle & World Beat Rhythm Celebration from Newport will take place this Saturday, May 9, from 4 to 7 pm. The event will feature multicultural traditional and indigenous rhythm and song from Davis on drums and mbira/kalimba; Thunder & Lightness with Terry Filer on the Native American flutes; Ocean Thunder World Beat Drummers; and many of the familiar special guests from the Summer Celebration shows at Cafe Mundo.
In addition to the guest artists that many locals will remember from past summers, Davis said he will also be inviting prominent folkloric and world music artists from throughout the Pacific Northwest (and maybe the world) “since distance is no longer an obstacle to participation.”
Participants can join the event from their home or office or from remote locations anywhere in the world.
The drum circle segments will be family oriented and will require no musical experience and all ages and skill levels are welcome. Davis said he’ll suggest and demonstrate household items that can be pressed into service as percussion instruments for those without drums.
Acoustic instruments other than percussion are welcome, but will be expected to follow and accompany the drums. Special guest musicians (experienced or professional performers) and others wishing to perform individually need to contact Davis in advance.
To find the link and password for the Zoom event, go to the Newport Community Drum Circle Facebook page. For other questions or details, contact Davis at email@example.com, via Facebook or at 541-272-4615.