Day of the Drum celebrates 10-year anniversary

In celebration of global legacies of percussion, eight engaging performances will be showcased at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Since 2009, the University has upheld the rhythm of percussions celebrating the Day of the Drum by presenting a day-long lineup for the surrounding community to enjoy traditional drumming styles of music. The event will include global drumming performances with various percussion instruments.

“Day of the Drum is a slight misnomer. The day is about music made on percussion instruments. There will drums to be sure but also instruments that utilize melody, harmony and a vast palate of timbre or sound color,” said Rocky Maffit, C-U local and creator of the Day of the Drum.

This year, KCPA brings tap dance demonstrations, professional ensembles collaborating with the School of Music and taiko drummers of Kodo.

Kodo is a Japanese musical group of taiko drummers which will be performing in the Americas for the first time.

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Among the lineup, the Marching Illini Drumline will perform cadences and choreography for the occasion.

Aaron Kavelman, drumline instructor for the Marching Illini, said in an email while the Marching Illini Drumline has performed for the Day of the Drum in the past, the tenor section will be featured during this year’s performance.

“This is a unique performance,” Kavelman said. “The tenors have prepared a fun, energetic performance that lasts approximately 15 minutes that features some old and new pieces that have been arranged specifically for this exciting event.”

Maffit was inspired by the Wall to Wall Guitar festival, also known as the Ellnora Guitar festival, to create a similar event to celebrate global drumming traditions. He encourages all who are able to attend Day of the Drum as it is, “literally something for everyone.”

“Krannert Center and its generous donors present this day as a gift to our community, and it is a big gift,” Maffit said. “These are world class artists, the best there are, and to be able to experience them in such beautiful and intimate settings is simply amazing. I am honored and proud to be a part of it.”

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