Different Drums of Ireland come thundering into Derry

Different Drums of Ireland, who will perform at The Playhouse on Saturday, September 21
Different Drums of Ireland, who will perform at The Playhouse on Saturday, September 21

Different Drums of Ireland will come thundering onto The Playhouse stage with a show not to be missed this month!

Performing their first show since their US tour in 2014, they will treat audiences to the power of indigenous Lambeg and Bodhran drums, paired with Uileann pipes and whistles, guitar, world percussion and more. Jigs, reels, marches and original songs all come together in a primal, joyous and unique mix of tradition and innovation.

Started in 1991 as a community relations project, Different Drums went on to international acclaim, playing for Presidents and Royalty but still keeping Northern Ireland at its heart.

The group were initially inspired by the Kodo drummers of Japan and have created an entirely new programme which has its roots in the Northern Irish tradition but flowers in the emerging ‘World Music’ scene. During their concerts Different Drums play a range of unique music which draws from the Irish, Scots-Irish, African and African traditions. Audiences hear traditional reels, jigs and marches, world rhythms, songs with a reggae feel, traditional Lambeg chants and Bodhrans playing with Long drums, Lambegs and African Djembe.

Different Drums’ roots are in the music of this place and they have brought the music of Northern Ireland to international audiences, appearing in many arts venues around the world, including The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, 2000, The Lincoln Centre NY 1999 and more. In 2005 the band undertook a six week long coast to coast tour of the US, playing in venues such as the Mondavi Centre, The Davis Arts Center, Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael.

In 2012 they toured Japan playing in venues such as the Shinjuku Bunka Center Tokyo, Yokohama Kannai Hall, Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan, Fukuoka Sunpalace Hall.

They have taken the Different Drums music and message to China, Israel, Poland, England, France and many times to the USA. They have performed with James Galway, Phil Coulter, Roma Downey and Aidan Quinn at the White House for President Clinton. The same troupe also performed at St Patrick’s Cathedral New York with the legendary Gregory Peck. At home they have performed several times at Aras an Uachtarain for President McAleese.

A major part of Different Drums work was to stage 100’s of information sessions and hands on workshops in schools and community centres all over NI or the Diversity 21 programme of DCAL.

In August 2014 Different Drums of Ireland performed for the last time at the internationally acclaimed Milwaukee Irish Fest with artistes like Donal Lunney, Andy Irvine, Sharon Shannon, and Dougie McLean.

“We’re so proud to host Different Drums of Ireland’s first show since their US tour in 2014, funded by the Community Relations Council for Good Relations Week, a week of events full of people playing an active part in creating and sustaining good relationships across the community,” Claire Heaney McKee, Community Relations Officer at The playhouse said.

“As part of their work for Community Relations Week, the group will be holding several workshops with community and school groups in the lead up to their performance, introducing a new generation to the indigenous drums of Ireland, the Lambeg, the Bodhran and a new drum of their own design, the Long Drum. They also feature the pipes of Ulster, the Uilleann or elbow pipes, the Scottish small pipes and the Highland bagpipes. All this along with whistles, guitar, other small percussion instruments and original and traditional songs come together to make a unique and exciting sound the like of which has never been heard before.”

Different Drums of Ireland will perform at The Playhouse on Saturday, September 21, tickets available for £12/£10 at (028)71268027 or www.derryplayhouse.co.uk.