The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

87° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “-21§: Drumming circles offer fun, stress relief for free”

    “”It’s the only store that I know of where there’s live music and we encourage the shoppers to participate and create music on their own,”” said Frank Sanzo.

    Sanzo is manager of 17th Street Guitars and World Music, home to Monday and Thursday Drumming Circles. Cliff Berrien, director of Batucaxe, a percussion and dance ensemble based in Tucson, runs the circles. The circles utilize djembe and dembek drums, as well as other hand percussion, which are all provided.

    Participation requires no commitment and is open to anyone at the market.

    “”College students can’t really take other classes that have strict rules and require attendance,”” Berrien said. “”The drumming circles are different in that they don’t require you to learn basics or techniques, or show up every time. Shoppers hear the drumming and they have a few minutes, so they join in.””

    People of all skill levels are welcome.

    “”Probably 75 percent of the people have never drummed before,”” Berrien said. “”Everything about drumming is new to them, how to drum and all of that. So they come and experiment with different ways of playing. They just give it a try.””

    Participants transform during the drumming circles.

    “”Most of the people come here a little tentative – you know, a little shy or afraid,”” Berrien said. “”They leave with a big smile on their faces. They had a great time.””

    He added that people enjoy doing group activities and working toward a common goal in the drumming circles.

    “”The participants are literally two inches above the concrete when they leave,”” Sanzo said.

    He attributes the transformation to stress relief.

    “”The participants seem to forget their daily cares because they’re so into the drumming,”” Sanzo said. “”It takes their focus slightly outside of themselves and onto a group effort.””

    It’s the interaction of the music and the people that completes the experience, Berrien said.

    “”I think it’s a combination of the fact that it’s a pleasant activity and that you’re doing it with other people,”” he said.

    The circles are held Mondays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the 17th Street Market.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search