Social Groove Drummers; Des Moines, IA
In April I journeyed to Des Moines, IA to facilitate workshops in drumming.Much to my joy and surprise I found the Des Moines drumming community to be refreshing and full of joy! The people were kind, incredibly artistic and intelligent, and fully reciprocal in their dealings with me.
My trip was sponsored by a group known as Social Groove and their Drum Guide, Linda Foster. The core group consisted of Linda, Kimberly Kelley, Frank Herring, Libbey Taylor, Tina Manbeck , Judy McClure, and Gale Riva. In addition I met Sarah Johnson Naderman who often sings with the group at performances and Joan Von Stein who hosted our workshop and drum circle at her bookstore; Ancient Ways Ingersoll.
Social Groove had been drumming together for about three years. Linda says she began teaching by default. Several drum teachers had visited Des Moines but there was no consistent long-term teacher. Many knew of her work with the drum and approached her to begin classes. This she did and now, Social Groove is emerging as a solid performance level drum ensemble.
I truly enjoyed being in the company of the group. They were fun, witty and sharp of mind. But what truly caught my attention was the business machine behind the group. The participants had all paid for the workshop in advance( there were five total). I noticed that the profit from the workshop went into supporting the group for the weekend. We all ate, drank and celebrated life as much as we drummed! I truly saw the spirit of cooperative economics and was truly touched by the kindness and generosity that the group shared amongst itself. It was clear that they loved each other. Yes, like any group, there were spats amongst them, but as a collective it was clear that they stood for each other. Impressive! I am still feeling the uplifting energy of my new Iowa family. There were some expansive minds in the group and I am anxious to go back for more drumming. I look forward to singing with Sarah and am wanting an afternoon of serious spirtual-political conversation with Joan.
In the mean time, Social Grove has had a couple performances and incorporated some of the material they learned in the workshops. Now, that makes a Mama Drummer really proud! The embraced the new rhythms and ran with them! Social Groove is helping to raise the consciousness and spirit of Des Moines through drumming!
Photo Courtesy Polk County Democrats: Libbey, Judy, Kimberly,Frank, Tina, Sarah. Linda was with me in Denver for intensive weekend drumming!
By the way, If you are ever in Des Moines, head to Linda’s Coffe shop; Ritual Café, for the best coffee in the world or a cold brew! Ask about Social Groove. You will be pleasantly surprised with what you find there!
Photos by LuElla Rodemeyer