You don’t have to be a drummer to take part in the statewide-drumming event known as Colorado Drums Forward on Thursday. But it helps.
“You’ve heard the howling going on, and other things that are certainly great acts of solidarity for healthcare workers,” said Mike Zubrinic, music director of Dazzle Jazz. “But we thought it would be cool to have just one night where everyone goes outside and bangs on a drum or pot or pan for a minute.”
Colorado Drums Forward, as Dazzle’s initiative is called, was hatched by Dazzle owner Donald Rossa after watching quarantined-music events such as “One World: Together at Home.” While Rossa has been lately streaming performances from Dazzle’s website, he also wanted to try something no one else was doing.
Scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30 — which also happens to be International Jazz Day — the one-time drumming explosion is supported by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, Colorado Creative Industries and other statewide arts-advocacy nonprofits.
But its aim is simple, said Jimmie Dean, owner of Denver Music Group and a drummer himself. Anyone who can make noise, and anything they can make a noise with (including pots, pans, buckets and boxes), can be part of this brief act of acoustic unity.
“It’s not a traditional drum-circle concept where people are physically near each other and following a rhythm,” Dean said. “It’s more of an in-theory concept to show support for creative industries. Drumming is a communicative tool in its most basic form. Even Morse Code is a form of drumming when you think about it.”
To spread the word, Dean has reached out to 25 music stores around the state, from Front Range shops like Rupp’s and Legacy Drum Shop to stores in Meeker, Pueblo, Grand Junction and Durango. He’s also gotten interest from area drum circles and team-building programs such as Peak Rhythms, which will offer “an online drum circle experience” from 6:30 p.m. to about 6:50 p.m. to warm people up (visit facebook.com/peakrhythmsinc to join in).
This will not, however, be a recurring event. If people start drumming nightly or weekly after April 30, it won’t be because the organizers of this event are encouraging them to.
“We didn’t want it to be an ongoing campaign,” Dean said. “You can overdo it a little bit with all this.”
Indeed, for people unaware of the planned percussive panoply, it could amount to a surprise (and unwelcome) jolt just as dinner is ending.
But is it any more jarring than the recent Blue Angels flyover, or the bagpipes played by firefighters at sunset? Even April 24’s CPR Classical “Ode to Joy” sing-along encouraged people to express themselves with abandon, whether they were trained musicians or not.
The joy, sorrow and whatever else that comes out will be cathartic and creative, organizers said.
“The neighbors may not dig it, but it’s only a minute,” Zubrinic said. “And as far as we know, this is the first thing like it anywhere.”