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BMA’s Ruth O’Brien travels to Groove Warehouse to speak with overseer Gary France about the action-packed Canberra Drummers Day.
If you’re a drummer in Canberra, or have any rhythmic bone in your body, there’s no other place you should be on Saturday, 12 October than Canberra Drummers Day at the Groove Warehouse in Hume!
The brainchild of renowned drummer and percussionist, Gary France, CDD is an opportunity for everyone from amateurs to professionals, the young and old, to come together and share a love of beats, sick or otherwise.
I recently spoke to Gary in depth about how he envisions the day. “We’re going to have a thing called Drum Karaoke,” he says. “We have over 100 songs, and people can sit down [at the drum kit on stage] and play their favourite song. Whether it’s something by U2 or The Beatles or a thrash metal band, or whatever”.
That alone is enough to get me along to this fabulous initiative…but wait! There’s more! CDD will feature clinics, workshops, demonstrations, and performances by some of the best drummers in the country. These include Dave Goodman, Taylor Douglas, Ben Schumann, Katherine Bray, Peta Minter, Phil Measham, Jonathan Jones, Giorgio Rojas, Jamal Salem, and Simon Ert just to name a few. Many local up-and-coming drummers will also feature on the day. Riley Morgan, drummer of Sputnik Sweetheart, is also scheduled to be involved, as is Canberra Community Samba band, Raio De Sol.
All styles of drumming will be looked at from jazz to rock, world music to funk, pop, and everything in between. And with the pros listed above, you can get all the advice and tips you need to begin, or continue, your own drumming journey, as well as sign up to classes, or learn about the amazing drummers coming through Canberra as the year progresses.
On top of that, there’ll be a raffle for thousands of dollars worth of door prizes (tickets for which can be bought online via the Groove Warehouse website), a sausage sizzle, and Kiddicussion (a workshop for kids to get involved).
The Groove Warehouse is a spectacle in itself. The retail section (which sells everything you could imagine and more to do with drumming) is located on the bottom level. Go up about 20 stairs* and you see the amazing space where 10+ drum kits are set up for classes to take place. Next to that is what Gary currently nicknames, “The Golden Room”. I have never seen so many cymbals and gongs in my life!
“We’re really a hybrid for the music profession”, states Gary. “Whether you’re playing, teaching, promoting, selling, researchin; we do it all here”.
Having been to the last Canberra Drummers Day in 2016, I can guarantee this is a great event to get along to for anybody with even a vague interest in drumming. Or music, generally. At the heart of this event is Gary’s love of drumming and his will to share his passion with the wider community.
“This is about people experiencing the Groove Warehouse, experiencing all the things that we do. We’re not any one thing. We’re not just a school, we’re not just a store, we’re not just an events organisation. We reach out nationwide”, says Gary.
How lucky we are that he’s chosen to call Canberra home.
For more info, check out the website at groovewarehouse.com.au or drop them a line on 6260 2847.
*While there isn’t an elevator to the 2nd floor, there is a chairlift to assist anybody who may require mobility assistance to experience the whole venue