The first Levitt National Tour is underway. And while you may be coming out to see the phenomenal live performance by the World music group Playing For Change, if you get to the show early, you’ll notice something truly unique happening on the Levitt lawn: a community drum circle.
“A drum circle is an in-the-moment music event open to everyone, no experience needed,” says John Fitzgerald, a drum circle facilitator and Manager of Recreational Music Activities for Remo Incorporated. “The whole idea is that music is the vehicle to connect people, and a drum circle is about bringing people together.”
Music’s ability to bring people together is one of the reasons that makes the Levitt Pavilions and Remo partnership a great fit. “Remo’s really thrilled to be working with Levitt Pavilions. The Levitt mission statement of creating community through music has such a great power for society and resonates with Remo’s own mission,” says Fitzgerald.
While Remo may best be known as a percussion and drum company, it has a deep commitment to improving communities through music as well as an involvement with music as a wellness tool. In Remo-funded medical research, drum circle participation was proven to boost the immune system through increased Natural Killer cells (the white blood cells that target cancer and other viral cells). The company’s HealthRhythms program promotes drum circles as a wellness practice, and Remo itself develops instruments that allow those with sound-sensitivities like the autistic community and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to benefit from drum circles.
There are three shows left on the Remo-sponsored tour: tonight (June 27) at Levitt Pasadena, Saturday, June 28 at Levitt Los Angeles and Wednesday, July 2 at the future Levitt Denver site. All events will have a pre-show drum circle led by a drum facilitator who creates an atmosphere of creativity, play and community. While you can bring your own percussive instrument if you have one, we’ll also be providing instruments—free Remo Sound Shapes—to the first 250 participants.
And what are Fitzgerald’s tips for first-time drum circle participants? “Bring a sense of play, and expect to have great time!”