Different Drummers Drum Circle of Santa Fe

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Tintamarre 2004
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Oakwoodstock 2004
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Different Drummers Drum Circle

Welcome graphic

The three most important things you need to know about DDDC:

1.  You don't need to be an experienced drummer to join us. This is recreational drumming. It's about showing up and enjoying yourself. ALL skill levels are welcome. We're not auditioning for Santana.

2. You don't need to own a drum. I have lots and I share.

3. Cost for participation: Free.

Different Drummers Drum Circle is an open, freestyle community drum circle hosted by Rick Cormier, author of the book, "Freestyle Community Drum Circles". We meet at Unitarian Universalist Church at 107 W. Barcelona St (near the corners of Galisteo and Cordova) every 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30PM and we will also drum at The Performance Space at La Tienda in Eldorado (7 Caliente Rd., Santa Fe) each 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM.

Our Mission

"Ours is an open, freestyle community drum circle. We are a diverse group of people sharing a common experience. During the process of creating music together we create community. Our emphasis is on intuitive, improvised, and emotive rhythms rather than rehearsed or traditional ones. We welcome your 'voice' in our group song.

Drumming is fun. Drumming can change your mood and connect you powerfully with others. Drumming can entrance and heal. Drumming can provide a vehicle for expressing joy, frustration and peace. Drumming can raise energies and provide relaxation. Whether we participate for the spiritual experience, the emotional experience, the musical experience or the social experience, drumming can bring a dozen hearts and souls to a dozen destinations. Yet we journey together...as a community."

What To Expect (this applied to our Yarmouth, Maine drum circle)

Different Drummers is known for our positive energy and welcoming atmosphere. Most of our drum pieces end in either laughter or silence. We encourage participation by novices. When you decide to check us out, it is very unlikely that you'll be the only first-timer there that night. If you don't yet own a drum, I usually bring extras which I share for free. There is also no charge for participation. Come when you can and leave when you must. We drum until the last of us goes home. In Maine, more than 600 people considered themselves DDDC members. Some people drummed with us 3 times a month while others may joined us 3 times a year. It's all good.
We averaged 30 to 40 drummers per evening. Our participants were commonly about 65% women.  We had singles, couples and families who drum with us... children under 10 and seniors well into and beyond their 80's. As DDDC Santa Fe is just getting started, it's impossible to say what our numbers will look like in ten years.
Expect to see African djembes, Middle Eastern doumbeks, frame drums, ashikos, congas, bongos, cajons and all sorts of rhythm instruments. We have created incredible percussive backdrops to flute, harp, cello, sax, mandolin, blues harmonica, didgeridoo and vocals. We welcome dancers.
Anyone may start a beat. That person sets the tempo and the tone of the piece. That guideline keeps us from slipping into the same rhythm patterns. It also keeps the "Testosterone Tangos" from dominating. It allows us to sound African, Latin, Middle Eastern, Native American, jazzy and purely creative...all in one evening. It allows us to weave delicate percussive tapestries in which every note is a significant event. 
The DDDC has an email list with regular reminders and announcements about DDDC and other local area drum circles and percussion-related events and resources. Email me your name and email address to be added to that list.

10th Anniversary...3/9/2013!!!

In March of 2003, I offered a drum circle workshop to members of the First Universalist church in Yarmouth. We had only moved into town 2 months prior. Twenty-two people took the workshop. When it was over I announced that we would start drumming once a month. About a dozen people showed up. You can read all about our history on our website.

Ten years later, we drum three times a month in an attempt to keep our circle intimate. We average 30 - 40 participants each circle with a record high of 100. A total of more than 2000 people have drummed with us. More than 600 people consider themselves DDDC 'members'. We have drummed with participants from more than 26 countries, that I know of. Grace still holds the record of having been our youngest drummer. (Those who remember Gracie will recall she actually kept a beat at 13 months old! She drummed with us until she moved to Philadelphia at 19 months old.) Our most senior drummer is Ann, who turned 94 last November. When I've invited guest drumming teachers to lead a workshop, Ann hasn't missed an opportunity to learn some more drumming!

I want to mention Laura. Many of you who have drummed with us over the past year know Laura as a 'regular' on most Friday nights. Laura was born with cerebral palsy and autism. We all see the trouble she has crossing the room and speaking, but when the drumming starts, her 'handicap' disappears. Is anyone in the room having a better time than Laura? ...okay... Maybe me. ;-) ...But if there is ever a time I wonder if hosting this drum circle for free makes any difference to anyone, I'll consider what it has meant to Laura.

We're a musically-creative bunch. We have drummed wonderful backgrounds to flute, blues harmonica, dulcimer, saxophone, keyboards, oboe, clarinet, guitar, electric bass, upright bass, mouth organ, didgeridoo, berimbau, marimba, harp, cello, steel drums, mandolin, kirtan, singing voices and poetry. We have had percussion instruments as diverse as a folding chair, a saw, a washboard, a post-hole digger, a Ronco Garden Weasel and even an ocarina app on an iPhone!

For ten years I've sat at my computer each week and tried to convey drumming-related information in an entertaining way (via the weekly DDDC news blurbs) after having done this in Massachusetts since the 90's. Do the math. Even I'm impressed!  ;-)

For ten years, a roomful of virtual strangers with very little in common with one another have shared evenings making music together. Sometimes raucous, sometimes introspective, sometimes incredibly beautiful, and sometimes ridiculously funny!

Were you there the night the crowd started singing "The Sound of Music" in the middle of a drum piece? Or the Wizard of Oz medley?

I was.

I get to be there three times a month... (and a fourth time in Waterville!)

Rick Cormier

P.S.  ...and now I get to do it again in Santa Fe!!  :-)

Improvising with a Filipino guitarist and musicians from various other bands before the opening of the 2015 Santa Fe Kirtan Festival.

Each year, a bunch of us from Different Drummers Drum Circle (Maine)used to drum in the Yarmouth Clam Festival Parade.


See our drum circle on YouTube!

See the softer side of Different Drummers on YouTube...

To learn more about our drum circle and about freestyle drum circles, including guidelines, tips, news articles, and poems, the link below will take you to the "Drum Circle" section of my webpage:

2013 article: "Celebrating Authenticity: Rick Cormier"

Link to "Drum Circles"

Rick's Personal Webpage

Link to articles about the many benefits of group drumming.

JUST FOR FUN: Click here to see my son and I sharing an impromptu drum jam in a song.

Express Yourself:


Former DDDC t-shirt design


April 26, 2016 My latest book, "MiXED NUTS or What I've Learned Practicing Psychotherapy" has been getting incredible reviews on Amazon! You can read all about it including excerpts at http://synthrick.tripod.com/mixednuts/

Every Saturday evening, Rick drums kirtans (sacred, audience-participation chanting) for the Bhakti Boogie Band at the Community Yoga Center, 826 Camino de Monte Rey, Suite 1B;

Rick also drums for Santa Fe's "Blues Review Band" Look for us on Facebook to see where and when we're playing. (Usually at 2nd Street Brewery and at Cowgirl BBQ)

My book, "Freestyle Community Drum Circles." is available (See "My Book" link on far left) on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and wherever FINE books are sold. ;-) There are loads of books available on facilitated drum circles but mine is the first to advocate freestyle circles, the goal of "shared leadership", and the importance of allowing participants to have their own individual experience, be it spiritual, creative, or community-building. Oh, and rumor has it it's pretty funny, too. I'm planning to write an expanded, revised edition soon so I'm selling first edition copies for only $10.00 while the supply lasts. See me at the drum circle.
I have copies of my third (and favorite) book, "My Life Cracks Me Up", for sale at $15. each  (They retail for $19.99).
Also, see me at the drum circle for superball mallets, DDDC T-shirts or bumper stickers.
For superball mallets, beaters, books or music visit "Rick's Quirky Little Shop" at http://www.facebook.com/ricksquirkyshop

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