University City Delmar Loop & Forest Park Drum Circle
Saint Louis - Please note after a year and a half shut down, as of 2016, the word is the Delmar Loop
is back at it's former location Sundays about 4 pm - 7 pm. Good news, as this long established drum
circle has been surviving various things and is still going on for some 23 years (spring to winter).
The Forest Park drum circle: If coming from Clayton Ave. go North on Skinker, enter on Wells Dr.
take 2nd left to the park. Skinker & Clayton Rd (near hwy 40/64), turn on a street called Wells.
Kennedy Forest entrance is the 2nd left on a street 1/2 mile down Wells Dr. There's a sign.
Drumming is Sunday by the pavilion, (Or at one of the other pavilions along Wells Dr.)
This drum circle starts about 4pm until about 7 or dark. The STL Forest Park drum circle still is
on Sundays, but no longer around the Grand Basin. They now pretty much play wherever they can.
It's sort of turned into a drum circle flash mob that meets along Wells at this tree about 4pm.
They either play there, or sometimes move to any pavilion or area that opens up nearby.
If you are driving Down Wells Drive. If it is happening, ou will see and/or hear them.
Drum Circle Flash Mob seemed to have a better ring to it than the homeless drum circle.
Good drumming, good music, & great vibes at Forest Park. Look for it along Wells Drive.
(*Below is from Last Year*)
A few pop and lock dancers joined in for the 1st drum circle of the 2013 season at The Delmar Loop in St. Louis. They certainly amped up
the fun, (among many others - freestyle, dub step, animators, bellydancers). Here's 9 minutes from a 3 hour jam with all the great musicians
that attend this drum circle that's been ongoing for over 23 years. One of the most organic cultural events on the Loop.
The U-City Delmar Loop arts and entertainment district. Voted One of the 10 Great Streets in America.
A lively 6 block walk of fame, with 100's of eclectic shops, restaraunts, street musicians, & numerous live music entertainment venues.
But unless you hear the groovin' beats walking by, you might not know about the Delmar Loop drum circle. It has been going on every
Sunday around 4pm for over 23 years. The circle gets little publicity, which is why I created this unofficial official webpage.
The drum circle was located outdoors across from the Bread Company, on Delmar at the Loop right next to the Market Pub House
at 6565 Delmar. (In the same block as the Starbucks.) If you get close driving by, and it's going on, you can hear it.
Every week was a different experience. Some drummers are regulars, & others show up once a month or so. You'll see everything
from seasoned musicians who just want to kick back & jam, to beginners who are trying out their new drum, & everything inbetween.
Young & old, people from all backgrounds & different cultures all come together, get along, & communicate through the music.
There are plenty of curious onlookers, & people who just come by to enjoy the positive vibe. Everybody is welcome, -
it doesn't matter if you play a drum or not. It's always a fun drum circle, & I love attending as often as I can.
Usually after the Loop drum circle ends at 7pm it moved to Forest Park. It's either at, or just past The Grand Basin.
It starts about 8pm and goes till 10. It has a different vibe than The Loop drum circle, because lots of different
people show up. I would say it's a bit more laid back, but still a real fun drum circle. It is a spectacularly
beautiful & scenic place to drum (even on a cloudy day) that's close to the road, but still close to nature.
The sound of lighted water fountains in the background sound like rainsticks. I got to go there and drum
a few dozen times before it got shut down and was forced to relocate in October 2013.
If coming from Skinker Blvd. turn East at Forsyth / Lagoon Drive and go about 1/2 mile. You'll see & hear it
on the right. It's near the street, at the base of the basin. Fire spinners are across the street.
What's fun about this, is you can go to 2 different drum circles in one day, and they are only a few miles apart.
For a lot of people, it's playing 3 hours at The Loop, & then 2 more at Forest Park. That was doin' it STL style.
Lots of hulahoopers grooving to the beat at this drum circle. Saw this sign a while back and cracked up.
Back to memories of The Loop drum circle:
Perhaps the world could learn something from this. The drum circle is family friendly, no drinking or drugs.
One thing you can always count on, is excellent drumming & dancing. All sorts of dancers that join in as you can see.
Lots of movement to drum to. And for the dancers, lots of choice drumming to connect with. Many of them just happen by
& get drawn in to the center by the beat! The drum circle is weather permitting & ends at 7pm. So get there early!
100 years ago streetcars like this one sitting on Delmar came from the downtown area & looped around, giving the area its name.
It wasn't me. I didn't do it.
6 minutes from the Delmar Loop Earth Day drum circle. (Some smokin' drumming!)
I'm having too much fun drumming to shoot video, so I handed my camera to a bystander and he shot this footage for me.
The Loop drum circle has been going on for a long time. Check YouTube, there's loads of videos from this circle on there.
Not in the Saint Louis area? Locate a drum circle near you with my drum circle finder, and be a part of it.
I hope you enjoy your visit to my site. Please consider picking up a set of my drum rhythms, or drum circle jam CD's.
A 2 disc set is ten bucks + $2 shipping. My drum circle music is digital on Amazon - iTunes - Spotify - CDBaby etc.
(Recorded in FL.) I have over 7 hours of live drum circle jams to put in your mp3 player, iPod, iPad, phone,
or any other mp3 compatible device. That's a whole lot of jammin' for a few bucks. Here's the page link:
Thanks in advance if you choose to buy something. I really do appreciate it. The proceeds go toward working with groups in
our community that have limited recreational budgets. Speaking of that, I offer facilitated drum circles for all ages, groups, and
venues. Parties, events, and churches, to seniors, special needs groups, and the general public. Hand drums, and percussion
instruments are provided. All you need is a heartbeat, and some chairs. Contact me for more information about having one,
private djembe or doumbek drumming lessons, or how to start, and/or facilitate a drum circle.
More About Drum Circles:
Most drum circles are truly an amazing experience to witness. People from around the world show up for one reason,
to play the drums together, be creative, and just have fun. Somehow, it all sounds great. It's drum circle magic.
The styles of the drum circle rhythms we play ranges from Latin, African, Carribbean, Middle Eastern, to some plain
old funky Freestyles. We jam out for 10 - 15 minutes. Then somehow, it stops. We take a breath, and somebody
starts it up again with a new drum beat. Then everyone joins in, finding their own unique place in the mix.
A community drum circle is fun for everyone, including the onlookers, some of whom are just innocently walking by,
get caught up by the drumming beat and begin to watch. Then ever so slowly they begin to move a little, then more
& more. Gradually they head to the center of the circle and start groovin'. It's kind of amusing to watch this process.
Gradually, they always give in to the rhythm. They haven't got a chance. It always overcomes them, and in they go.
Even the shyest of types can only hold out for about five minutes. It happens every time, It never fails. That drum
rhythm is going to get you. Some of them are good enough to be professionals, others just expressing themselves.
The fascinating thing is the variety of styles you see. Just as the drumming frequently takes an ethnic turn, so does
the dancing. Every kind you can imagine, from all sorts of different countries. Many of the drum circle participants
come dressed according to their cultures, or just their own personal sense of style. A lot of them show up just to
unwind from a long week, and let off a little stress. There's nothing like a little drumming to help you relax.
I need to go to a good drum circle at least once a week or I just feel like I have missed something.
Many of these dancers are really good, and as the drum beat drives them, they drive the beat. As the drummers express
rhythm through sound, they express it through movement. And as they move in front of the drummers, the musicians
play harder. As a result, it goes on and on, until it's like being in a trance! It usually drives us to the
point of exhaustion, but who cares? It's just way too much fun.
Some of the drummers, and onlookers are from different cultures and don't even speak the same language. Most use native
drums from their own countries. Djembes, congas, doumbeks, ashikos, bongos, & many other smaller percussion instruments.
You never know what you will see. Washboards, shakers, rattles, wood blocks, bells, tambourines, triangles, zils, and
many other home made gadgets. (Or what some of us call "junk percussion".) Once I saw a guy with an old cowbell that
looked like he grabbed it right off the farm. Yo dude...More Cowbell! Seriously though, a lot of people go to drum
circles for the healing benefits, & it's also a social outlet. Everyone there is in a good mood & having fun.
There is always a lot of variety in the drumming experience. Occasionally, someone with something other than a percussion
instrument will show up to add a hint of melody floating over the beat, like a wood flute, dideridoo, or something. The sort
of unspoken drum circle rule is that you need your own instrument of some kind, and then you can trade with other
drummers and try drums others have brought. Many will let you try theirs out if you ask, and treat it with respect.
The drums do the talking, in a musical event that has pretty much swept the world, now called a drum circle. You can
hear things like the "Call & Response", "The Echo", and many other forms of drumming communication. None of this is
planned, or performed for anyone, it just happens spontaneously. We do it because we just love doing it, & we build
a sense of community together. The international blend of characters is what makes a drum circle such a good time
for the drummers, the dancers, and even the onlookers. Every drum circle is different, even at the same place.
Some drum circles are facilitated by someone, and others are freestyle. (Or tribal.) The Loop is freestyle.
I was a very selfconcious kid, and music helped me to deal with, and overcome that. I was also hyperactive,
and playing the drums gave me an outlet for it. Many drum circles are family friendly - it's something
positive and fun to do with your kids. It may help them too - even encourage them to join school band.
Below is the home page with my 2 hour DVD, 101 Drum Circle Rhythms & Live Drum Circle CDs. You can get the DVD & a CD
for $15 + $2 shipping. I also wrote a 300 page book on hand drumming & drum circles, & it comes with a free
(different) drum circle CD. Please visit this link for more info. On Amazon Kindle it's $8.
101 Drum Circle Rhythms DVD or Amazon Instant Video
An effective way to keep a drumming program, or drum circle fresh & interesting, is to have a wide variety of rhythms to draw from.
My 2 hour DVD of 101 hand drum rhythms makes ideal reference material. It's $10 & includes a free drum circle jam CD. The 101
rhythms are also available on 2 audio CD's for $10. You can get them at Amazon, iTunes & most mp3 retailers. Just search on the title.
14 Djembe Drum Circle Rhythm Samples from my DVD. Each rhythm is about a minute long. Also on Amazon Instant Video for $14.
(Just in case you noticed, that's a wedding band tattoo on my finger, not an actual ring.) Real commitment eh?
There is increasing recognition of the health benefits of music therapy, particularly facilitated
hand drumming, which is what I do for a living. Unfortunately, places where the people who benefit
the most, such as senior centers and special needs can not afford to pay for this.
If you would be willing to make a contribution of any amount to help me provide this
therapeutic music for free, please click on the Paypal button below.