Eastern Mass Rhythm Festival 2011

Ninth Annual
Eastern Mass Rhythm Festival
Saturday, August 24th, 2013
11am - 7pm
River Bend Farm, Uxbridge, Ma.
Hosted by: The Eastern Mass Drum Coalition* (EMADC)

The Premier Drum and Dance Circle Event of the Season!
One harmonious all day outdoor drum and dance jam!
African, Middle Eastern, facilited, freestyle and more.

Djembes, Dununs, Doumbeks, Ashikos, Atabaques,
Bata, Bongos, Congas, Claves, Gongs,
Shakers, Spoons, Rattles, Timbau, Timpani,
Frame, Powow, Riqs, Tablas, Bodhran, Taiko

You get the picture--
If you dance, sing, chant or drum, come!


What to Bring?

  • Your rhythm
  • Your drums
  • Your percussion instruments
  • A stool, chair or blanket to sit on
  • Water*
  • Snacks
  • A picnic lunch
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sun block
  • Tents or shelter from the sun
  • Your family
and come enjoy the day outdoors bringing your inner rhythm out in nature to share with the universe! You may consider putting your name on your belongings as there will be so many similar drums, items, etc. floating around.

*Water: An important drumming tool

Keeping yourself hydrated while drumming is of the utmost importance. It's especially important during hot weather, or if your hands hurt or bruise. (If your hands hurt, you probably need to work on your technique too.) Drink a little water, here and there during the session, even if you don't feel thirsty. Don't overdo it.

What is provided?

  • Welcoming packet with festival info
  • Some large public-use drums
  • Plenty of free parking
  • Rest rooms at the park visitor center
  • Water
  • Some sun shelters
  • Picnic area with tables and grills

If you don't own a drum, you should contact your local drum circle facilitator before the festival date and make arrangements for a loaner or rental. It is your responsibility to take care of this ahead of time, since we can't easily provide loaner drums on the day of the festival.

You are welcome to bring melodic instruments to the festival (flute, didgeridoo, etc) but should expect to be totally drowned out by the drums most of the time. There may be some quiet moments when your instrument may be heard, so take your chances.

Poi spinners are also encouraged to show off their moves wherever they can find room to not bonk anybody on the head. But for safety reasons, we'll have to just say "no" to flame spinners.

What to Leave?

Nothing, but great vibrations!

We must leave the park in the same condition that we found it, or we will not be welcome back. Please pick up after yourself and others throughout the day. That will really help to make our final sweep of the area a manageable chore.

the BIG circle

What will the day look like?
Something like this! These are our current workshops, but we might have a shift in scheduling or location. Check back when we get closer for an updated schedule.

There will be a break and announcements before each workshop.

Time: 10:00-
Main Circle: Free-Style Drum Circle Free-Style Drum Circle Free-Style Drum Circle Free-Style Drum Circle Grand Finale Free-Style Drum Jam and Dance Circle
On the hill: Donni-Donni (Little by Little)
with Issa Coulibaly and Zach Comb
with Mike Morse
Creative Drumming
with Rick Cormier
Behind the Visitor Center Spin/Hoop
with Laura Orc
Intro to Medicine of Native American Drumming
with Alan Stoneworf
African Dance
with Alice Heller
In the Visitor Center Taketina
with Elaine Fong and Morwen Two-Feathers
with Mary McKinnon

Workshop descriptions:

Free-Style Drum Circle: this is the main circle and will be running all day

CreativeDrumming with Rick Cormier: We often get 'stuck' playing the same old rhythms. The purpose of this workshop is to show you some alternative approaches to creating main rhythms and complementary rhythms and finding a 'voice' in group drumming.
Intro to Medicine of Native American Drumming with Alan Stonewolf: Discover the inherent healing and transformative gifts held within the drum. Learn how to use the drum as a tool for prayer, meditation, and healing of self and others as well as the planet herself.
Dunun Rhythms with Mike Morse: The dunun defines and drives African rhythms. In this workshop you will be introduced to some fundamental dunun patterns and explore one rhythm in greater depth. We will work with the kenkeni, sangban, and dununba learning technique and exploring the unique sounds of each drum. This workshop is appropriate for beginners and experienced drummers. Bring your drums. We will alternate between dunun and djembe to give more people a chance to learn dunun.
African Dance with Alice Heller: Come learn African dance and experience the joy of movement to drumming- we will learn some steps and choreography and end in a jam circle . Open to all levels--wear loose and comfortable clothing and (hopefully) our bare feet!
Taketina with Elaine Fong and Morwen Two-Feathers: Imagine the chance to experience something in your own time, and at your own pace. Taketina uses rhythm in a way that allows participants to experience an organic and non-linear process. Through the use of voice, hands and feet, participants are guided into multiple rhythmic layers in such a way as to allow all of the senses to engage in experiencing the rhythm. In today’s “hurry-up” world, Taketina allows us to be more of a human-”being” rather than a human-”doing”.
Spin/Hoop with Laura Orc:
Donni-Donni with Issa Coulibaly:
Kirtan with Mary McKinnon:

belly dancers



Take Route 495 north or south to Exit 19
Get on Route 109 going west towards Milford
At 2nd light, merge left with Route 16 west
Follow Rt 16 through the center of Milford
Continue roughly 4 miles through the towns of Hopedale an Mendon
Pass the Imperial Chrysler dealership on left side
Pass New England Steak and Seafood on right side
Slow down and take next available right onto Hartford Avenue East
Pass the signs for West Hill Dam
Cross over the Blackstone River bridge
The Tri-River Medical Center is on your left
Take immediate left onto Oak street
Just past Tri-River is a large grassy field on your left
Pull onto this field to park at River Bend Farm
The visitor center for River Bend Farm is a red barn directly in front of you
The festival welcoming booth will be at the foot of the hill near the canal bridge


Take the Mass Pike to exit 10A
Get on Route 146 going south towards Millbury
Go 12 miles on Rt 146
Take the Route 16 exit for Uxbridge (there are no exit numbers)
Turn left off the ramp and follow Rt 16 (Douglas St) towards Uxbridge
Go 2 miles to the center of Uxbridge
At the lights jog right and then jog left to stay on Rt 16 east (Mendon St)
Go up a hill and pass Capron St on left
Take next left onto Oak St.
Go half mile and bear right at fork to stay on Oak St (school on left)
Go another half mile and look for River Bend Farm visitor center on right (red barn)
Pass the visitor center entrance and turn right into the large grassy field to park
The festival welcoming booth will be at the foot of the hill near the canal bridge

287 Oak Street
Uxbridge, MA 01569-1250
Link to Maps:  Google Map   and   MapQuest

To contact the coordinators:
The Eastern Mass Drum Coalition (EMADC) is a grass-roots organization comprised of several drum circle facilitators from the Eastern Massachusetts region. At this time, there are no paid performers and no vendors involved.

Dave Curry from Drums For One and All

Rick Cormier from the Different Drummers Drum Circle of Yarmouth, Maine

Susan West from Grafton Drum

Ed Rooney from the DrumFish Drum Circle