Connecting with the beat: Delhi Drum Circles

Looking to bond over rhythm? These Delhi-NCR percussion communities organise jam sessions that help people embrace the power of music.

Published: 24th April 2022 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2022 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

The rhythmic beat of djembe, loud laughter, and people immersed in music—this is what one will witness at a typical drum circle. Rhythmic circles were often popular in cultures with traditional percussion practices especially in Asia and Africa. Over the years, it has been embraced by percussion enthusiasts across the world. “When I was pursuing a degree in Chartered Accountancy, I would play the djembe at times. It helped me relax,” shares Noida-resident Vaibhav Chaturvedi (26), a professional percussion instructor.

On realising the power of music, Chaturvedi decided to launch the Noida Drum Circle (NDC) about seven years ago. The open-for-all group—it started with only 10 participants—now has a social media following of around 700 people. “It is an inclusive space where anyone could come and play with us,” he shares. Similarly, Vasant Vihar-resident Rakesh Mathur (60) and his friends Margot Bigg and Anisha Nariman started the Delhi Drum Circle (DDC) in 2010. “We wanted to form a community of drum [lovers] amid nature. We found the Deer Park at Hauz Khas to be an ideal venue,” shares Mathur, an aviation consultant. 

Passion for percussion

Over the years, a number of percussion enthusiasts have joined these circles around Delhi-NCR—the NDC expanded from smaller communities such as the Dwarka Drum Circle, Faridabad Drum Circle, and the Gurugram Drum Circle—for jam sessions. They are usually held at open spaces such as cafés, halls, and non-restrictive. The sessions conducted include both children as well as adults.Due to COVID-19, DDC put a stop to their meetings in public spaces. However, Chaturvedi mentions that he started the Faridabad Drum Circle mid-pandemic, in September 2020.

(1 &5) Jam sessions conducted by the Noida Drum Circle; (2, 3, 4 & 6) Images of participants enjoying at various   Delhi Drum Circle meet-ups

Tapasya Chakravarty (21) from Paschim Vihar attended a jam session by the NDC at Gardens Galleria Mall, Noida, about four years ago. “I was in the area and suddenly heard the beats of a djembe. The meeting had such a positive vibe that I wanted to be a part of it,” mentions Chakravarty. Similarly, Dwarka-resident Nitin Virat (36), who first attended a DDC event in 2010, shares, “I had not expected so many people to attend. It is not a place where you will find many skilled drummers. For many participants, it is their first time playing a drum. But they still take the effort to play it. I think that is beautiful.” 

A musical remedy

Music—it is credited for its healing powers—is intertwined with each and every moment of our lives has been. “When you pick up the djembe and start playing it with others, there is only one thing that runs through your mind—music. You feel immense happiness while playing an instrument,” shares Chakravarty on recalling her first jam session with the NDC. She adds, “I felt so great afterwards, that I wanted to keep going back.”

There are fresh COVID cases being recorded everyday in the city.  However, these communities are determined that the music must not stop. The DDC—it has now divided into smaller groups—are conducting weekly meetings at Zorba The Buddha, Ghitorni. In fact, Virat had also organised a drum circle at the Sector 11 DDA Park, Dwarka, on Saturday. Similarly, as part of the Delhi Sustainable Week, Chaturvedi is organising a small circle at DLF Avenue, Saket, today at 7:00pm.


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