RHYTHM STICKS 2006 – The Festival of Drumming and Percussion from around the World

RHYTHM STICKS 2006 - The Festival of Drumming and Percussion from around the World

2006 marks the 12th season of Rhythm Sticks – the South Bank Centre’s annual percussion festival, featuring renowned artists and welcoming back previous participants in the festival as well as showcasing new talent and recently formed collaborations.

Over nine days there will be concerts in the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room as well as workshops and free events with programmes covering a wide range of styles such as world, jazz, folk, contemporary and classical music, and also featuring dance and film. Rhythm Sticks has grown into Europe’s most prestigious festival of this kind. A valuable fixture in London’s events calendar, it features leading drummers and percussionists from around the world.

The 2006 festival has a strong focus on Asian music and the wide range of percussion and styles it has to offer. Club events and DJ sets are also one of this year’s themes within the festival, which also features film and dance. The 2006 line-up includes Trilok Gurtu with Rajan and Sajan Misra in an all Indian and acoustic project; dancer and choreographer Jean Abreu in a programme featuring live music, Brazilian Latin dance and capoeira; renowned percussionist Taufiq Qureshi joins forces with leading DJ and producer State of Bengal and vocalist Vasundhra Das (‘bride’ in the hit movie Monsoon Wedding); Grammy award-winning solo percussionist Evelyn Glennie featuring Indian household names, sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan; Korean percussion group SamulNori; African drumming legend Tony Allen with Siemy Di System as support act; a multi-media performance by Icelandic creative percussion duo Steintryggur; 17-piece Gamelan orchestra SambaSunda from Western Java, Indonesia; Venezuelans Orlando Poleo (conga), Clara Rodriguez (piano) and Diana Montoya (percussionist) team up to pay homage to the African continent; South-Indian percussion ensemble Sapthaakshara, led by ‘Vikku’ Vinayakram with Shobana Jeyasingh; British composer Ethan Lewis Maltby’s Noise Ensemble in a new music spectacular; The Roger Beaujolais Sextet with material from his latest album Sentimental; taiko drumming from Joji Hirota and Kenny Endo, also featuring flautist John Neptune Kaizan, with British group Taiko Meantime as support act; North London’s Orient Express Club with a night of Turkish Rhythms, featuring Turkish percussion maestro Numan Elyer; 12-piece band Faaji Drummers led by vocalist Funmi Olawumi in a double-bill with Lekan Babalola; and a screening of the 1926 film ‘Faust’ by F.W. Murnau, featuring the live soundtrack composed and performed by Geoff Smith on prototype hammered dulcimers and flautist Rowland Sutherland.


Saturday 15 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Trilok Gurtu with Rajan and Sajan Misra:

Percussion virtuoso Trilok Gurtu, who is renowned for fusing genres such as jazz, Indian classical music, abstract improvisation and Asian pop, has now embarked on an all-Indian and totally acoustic project. He collaborates with India’s famous khayal singers Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra, celebrated in the UK for their recent project with Michael Nyman and U Srinivas. The performance, with not an electric instrument in sight, gives Trilok Gurtu his first opportunity to blend his innate sense of funky rhythm with the fabled classical singing of the Misra brothers, who have said: ‘When we sing, we are one soul singing, even though we are in two bodies.’
Rajan and his younger brother Sajan rank among India’s finest musicians. These wonderful singers are from the artistic quarter known as Kabir Chaura in the ancient city of Varanasi, and represent the tradition of Gharana named after the city.
They learnt from their father, the late Pandit Hanuman Prasad, their uncle Pandit Gopal Misra and from the Pandit Bade Ramdasji. The hallmark of their style is the superb intonation, beautiful imagination and yet traditional approach to the music, in which they include old compositions as well as their own, using amazing vocal range and technique. They have been presented with numerous awards in India and are recognised all over the world.
Tickets: £17.50 £15 £12.50
Groups: one free ticket when ten bought
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
AMC in association with *SBC

Saturday 15 July, Purcell Room, 8pm, Jean Abreu, Raizes:

Featuring live music, Brazilian Latin dance and capoeira, Raizes is a captivating and evocative journey into the heart of Brazilian culture. This new programme by Brazilian-born dancer and choreographer Jean Abreu explores the history and rituals of Brazilian dance, music and poetry from a contemporary perspective. Recently commissioned for a Dance Umbrella Brief Encounter (a platform for works by talented, younger choreographers which are performed prior to main stage shows) and winner of the prestigious Jerwood Choreography Award, Jean Abreu is one of the UK’s most exciting young dancers and choreographers, whose strong and sensuous movement style seamlessly merges Latin and contemporary dance. The show features capoeira master Ponciano Almeida, seen on the BBC1 television trailer and in the next Harry Potter film, and Brazilian dancer Letitia Pereira.
Supported by Dance East, Arts Council England and the Brazilian Embassy.
Tickets: £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)

Sunday 16 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Nylon Soundz:

State of Bengal (aka Sam Zaman), leading DJ/producer and pioneer of the British Asian underground, joins forces with renowned percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, son of the legendary Ustad Alla Rahka and brother of tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, and special guest vocalist Vasundhra Das, a classically trained singer from India and star of the hit movie Monsoon Wedding. This very special collaboration sees the three artists creating new music mixing tabla beats, percussion and electronics with Indian classical music. Joining them on stage are members of State of Bengal’s band, including drummer Marque Gilmore (‘the inna●most’, founding member of NYC’s Black Rock Coalition and creator of DRUM-FM) for a mesmerising live experience.
Tickets: £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
A CMN tour in association with *SBC produced by

Monday 17 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Evelyn Glennie featuring Amaan & Ayaan Ali Khan:

World-acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie returns to Rhythm Sticks with a new collaboration, joining forces with virtuoso Sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan – the 7th generation Sarod musicians. Grammy award winning Evelyn Glennie OBE is the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. As one of the most eclectic and innovative musicians on the scene today she is constantly redefining the goals and expectations of percussion, creating performances of originality and vitality. Her diversity of collaborations has included performances with artists such as Bela Fleck, Björk and Sting. This collaboration, as part of the Rhythm Sticks Festival, is no exception and clearly demonstrates her originality. This eclectic blend of western percussion and ancient Indian classical musical heritage sees Amaan and Ayaan, the accomplished sons of Sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in a new guise, taking their instrument (akin to a lute) into a new dimension and century.
Tickets £25 £20 £17.50 £15
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Navras Records in association with *SBC

Monday 17 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, SamulNori:

Master Drummers and Dancers from Korea

SamulNori (‘sa’ and ‘mul’ means ‘four things’ and ‘nori’ means ‘to play’) is a group of four dynamic musicians dedicated to performing and preserving traditional Korean music and dance. Since these superb percussionists first formed the group in 1978, Artistic Director Kim Duk Soo and his SamulNori team have sparked a renaissance in Korea’s music scene, while also garnering worldwide acclaim. The ensemble, who performs in many configurations but often tours as a quartet with Mr. Kim at the helm, expanded from a four-man ensemble into a company of thirty artists in 1993, and are now called SamulNori Hanullim (Hanullim means big bang).
Tickets: £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
*KCPA in association with *SBC

Tuesday 18 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Tony Allen – Lagos No Shaking
+ Siemy Di System:

Drummer Tony Allen is one of Africa’s greatest living musicians. His rhythms behind Fela Kuti’s band in the 1960s created Afrobeat, a fierce rhythmic mutation of jazz, funk and African Hi-Life. In 2006 Tony Allen made a triumphant return with a classic album, Lagos No Shaking. It was a remarkable disc, recorded in ten hot, heavy nights in Lagos, and it pushes Afrobeat to new heights with its loose-limbed polyrhythms and ferocious grooves. Tonight Tony Allen and his band are joined by the legendary 78-year-old Nigerian singer Fatai Rolling Dollar, diva Yinka Davis, Yoruba soul singer Omololu and percussion master Yinka Ogunye. Congolese drummer Siemy Di of the African Jazz Allstars fame opens the show with his Afro-funk band.
Tickets: £17.50 £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Joyful Noise in association with *SBC

Tuesday 18 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, Steintryggur:

Steingrimur Gudmundsson (Iceland’s only tabla player) and drummer and producer Sigtryggur Baldursson (founder member of the Sugarcubes) present a performance based on sampled world beats and live percussion against a dramatic and sometimes frenetic video backdrop. The two hugely creative spirits pose questions and challenges as they take world music and percussion to another level, creating something rather unusual, but oddly familiar at the same time.
Tickets £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Roots around the World in association with *SBC

Wednesday 19 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, SambaSunda (Indonesia):

In a fast-changing Indonesia a new generation of musicians are taking on the task of redefining their rich musical heritage for the new millennium. SambaSunda is an irresistible 17-piece ensemble bringing together a pan-Indonesian array of instruments and influences to create a new style Gamelan orchestra where the sounds and grooves of bamboo and percussion dominate. The classic sounds and shapes of the traditional instruments evoke not only the past but also the bustling, urban energy of the West Javanese capital Bandung today – a visual and acoustic riot. The group has just released their first International album, Rahwana’s Cry, out on Network Medien.
Tickets £15
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
KAPA in association with *SBC

Wednesday 19 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, African Heart –
Clara Rodriguez (piano),Orlando Poleo and Diana Montoya (percussion):

A celebration of the musical culture of Africa as seen from the perspective of leading Venezuelan contemporary composers and performers: a breathtaking, violently rhythmic evening of music inspired by the heritage of African rhythms and melodies and their influence on Venezuela, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Orlando Poleo, recognised as one of the best conga players in the world, renowned international concert pianist Clara Rodriguez, and prize-winning Paris-based percussionist Diana Montoya together pay homage to the African continent.
The programme blends world, contemporary and classical styles, featuring the first performance of Diego Silva’s Africa Mia, an impressive work that delves into the rhythms and rituals of Africa and Afro-Venezuelan traditions; Merengue by Federico Ruiz; Afro-Cuban Dances by Ernesto Lecuona; El negro Jose by Aldemaro Romero; and Bongo-0 by Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra.
Tickets: £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Clara Rodriguez in association with *SBC

Thursday 20 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Sapthaakshara & Shobana Jeyasingh:

T.H. Vikku Vinayakram, Ghatam
N. Ramakrishnan, Mridangam
V. Selva Ganesh, Kanjira
V. Uma Shankar, Ghatam, Konnakol
N. Rajaraman, Geth
V. Uma Mahesh, Vocal
A. Ganesan , Morsing
Shobana Jeyasingh, dancer, choreographer, actress
Revathy Kumar, BharataNatyam dancer / singer
Vithya Indrakumar, BharataNatyam dancer
Saranka Gunaseelan, BharataNatyam dancer

Grammy award-winning ‘Vikku’ Vinayakaram and Sapthaakshara bring the rich sound of South Indian Carnatic classical percussion and spiritual verse, woven into elaborate rhythmic cycles, to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sapthaakshara, which means seven in Sanskrit, features seven experienced and well-travelled virtuoso musicians who delve deep into the seven-syllable system, which for some is at the very heart of the cyclical nature of time itself. Sapthaakshara perform with Shobana, the niece of the legendary classical dancers Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (the Travancore sisters). A classical dancer, choreographer, teacher and actress, she has performed in both Indian classical and contemporary styles in India and around the world. Tonight she performs with Revathy Kumar and two young rising stars and graduates of the Asian Education and Fine Arts Trust – Vithya Indrakumar and Saranka Gunaseelan.
Tickets £20 £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
*SBC in association with the *Asian Education & Fine Arts Trust

Friday 21 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Noise Ensemble:

Noise Ensemble is the new percussion spectacular by British composer and former percussionist/performer Ethan Lewis Maltby, hitting London following a sell-out UK tour and guest appearances abroad. Ten sexy young virtuoso drummers and a hundred different instruments and Maltby’s majestic score blend in with stunning choreography, lighting and visual effects and create an outstanding theatrical and musical experience.
Tickets £20 £17.50 £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Louder Than Words in association with *SBC

Friday 21 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, Roger Beaujolais Sextet:

Roger Beaujolais, vibraphone
Mark Lockheart, tenor & soprano saxophones
Robin Aspland, piano
Simon Thorpe, double bass
Winston Clifford, drums
Oli Savill, percussion
Virtuoso vibes player Roger Beaujolais has assembled one of the tightest bands in the UK today featuring some of the country’s most sought-after players. Be ready for an evening of exciting music, as well as some gentle, reflective moments, from his latest critically acclaimed CD Sentimental.
Tickets: £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
StayTuned in association with *SBC

Saturday 22 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Joji Hirota, John Neptune & Kenny Endo + Taiko Meantime:

An evening of Taiko brings together three masters of traditional Japanese drumming and bamboo flute playing, with strong support by British Taiko outfit Taiko Meantime. Joji Hirota was born in Hokkaido in North Japan and came to England in 1972 at the invitation of Stomu Yamashta to become the director and percussionist of the Red Buddah Theatre and has lived here ever since. In 1993 he formed Trisan with former Clannad member Pol Brennan and Chinese flautist Guo Yue and they recorded an acclaimed album for Realworld. Joji has also recorded his own solo albums, the most recent being The Gate which features an eclectic mix of emotional vocals interwoven with taiko drumming, shakuhachi and string quintet. John Kaizan Neptune is widely acknowledged to be among the top masters of the shakuhachi, or Japanese bamboo flute. Well-known in Japan, this California native is also an accomplished jazz artist and composer who has gained respect in both the East and West for his versatile and technically sophisticated melting pot of sounds. Los Angeles born Kenny Endo (also known as Mochizuki Tajiro in the classical Hogaku world) began early training in western drums and percussion for performance with jazz, fusion, and classical artists. He discovered his roots through the Japanese taiko and went to Japan to further his study of taiko drumming for ten years. Endo has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Japan as well as internationally. Working with musicians in various genres, he has paved new directions in using the traditional taiko, bringing a refreshing and creative approach to music through his background in western, ethnic, and traditional Japanese drumming. Greenwich-based Taiko Meantime was founded in 2001 and their performances display a wide variety of physical playing styles, rhythms and musical textures.
Tickets £20 £15
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
World Spirit in association with *SBC

Saturday 22 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, Orient Express Club presents: A Night of Turkish Rhythm featuring Numan Elyer

North London’s popular Orient Express Club relocates to Rhythm Sticks with a Night of Turkish Rhythms to get your feet moving and hips shaking. Turkish percussion maestro Numan Elyer on darbuka and Indian tabla leads a talented band of London’s best Turkish session players, with their blend of traditional and contemporary music. Belly dancers complete the experience. After the concert, the music spills out into the foyer with a post-performance party with DJs from the Orient Express Club (from 9.30pm).
Tickets £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Kazum! In association with *SBC

Sunday 23 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.30pm, Faaji Drummers and Funmi Olawumi + Lekan Babalola:

A stunning double bill featuring drummers at the heart of Yoruba culture of Nigeria.
The 15-piece Faaji Drummers provide the fire that burns the live shows of performers including King Sunny Ade, King Wasiu Ayinde and Queen Salawa Abeni. Their name ‘Faaji’ is the Yoruba word for having a good time, and the group in full force more than live up to it. The rich eloquence of the Faaji Drummers’ talking drums makes every wedding and naming ceremony where they perform a joyful affair. Leading the group is the star vocalist Funmi Olawumi, who started her career with the group in Nigeria in the 1980s before finding fame with the Queens of Lagos and the Yoruba Women Choir. The Faaji Drummers and Funmi Olawumi perform a spectacular three-hour floor-shaking show that re-creates the party atmosphere of the world-famous Nigerian wedding parties. Also tonight, percussionist Lekan Babalola, who featured in the 2006 Grammy award-winning album In The Heart Of The Moon with Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate, leads his seven-piece band.
Tickets: £15 £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Joyful Noise in association with *SBC

Sunday 23 July, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, Geoff Smith and Faust cert.PG:

Following the success of his acclaimed score to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Geoff Smith returns with his new live film soundtrack project – Faust. Although less well-known in the UK than his earlier film Nosferatu, FW Murnau’s 1926 silent film, an adaptation of Goethe’s telling of the Faust legend, can be ranked among the greatest of the silent masterpieces.
Geoff Smith’s new score for Faust further extends the pioneering approach to composition, performance and design that he explored in The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. The live soundtrack will be performed by Geoff Smith on prototype hammered dulcimers & voice with renowned flautist Rowland Sutherland on concert, alto and bass flutes. Geoff’s immensely dynamic score illuminates Murnau’s aesthetic obsession, the juxtaposition of terror with dark humour, the exploitation of human vulnerability and the ultimate triumph of the spirit. There will be a post show Q&A with Geoff Smith.
All Tickets £12.50
Concessions 50% off (limited availability)
Geoff Smith in association with *SBC

Saturday 15 July, QEH Foyer 6.15-7.15pm,

Showcasing one of the world’s most complex drums, Chakardar can take you on a journey of rhythmic dialogue and dynamics unsurpassed in the UK. Bringing together the skills of UK’s top young tabla players, the ensemble has been thrilling audiences across the country. Led by the talented Harkirat Singh, it exemplifies the excellence that is the key feature of UK’s multicultural classical scene.
Admission Free

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 July, QEH Riverside Room, Planet Drum percussion workshops:

There will be 10 45-minute Drumkit and Afro-Latin percussion workshops with London’s finest drum and percussion school. Tutors include Alain Maurel, Louis Pocock, Malcolm Neate and Daniel Marruzzo.

Drumkit Beginners 10am, 2pm, 6pm Drumkit Intermediate 12 noon, 4pm Afro-Latin beginners 11am, 3pm Afro-Latin Intermediate 1pm, 5pm, 7pm
Drumkit: Group size limited to 6 / price £10
Percussion: Group size limited to 6 / price £10
Suitable for ages seven and over

Sunday 16 July, QEH Foyer 6.15-7.15pm, Naked Sunday Collective (NSC):

Naked Sunday Collective (NSC) emerged from a spontaneous jam session between Robert Jacob (guitar), Beverley Chadwick (saxophones), Stuart Henshall (double bass) and Neil Shervell (drums) on a warm summer’s afternoon at Vamp’s Club, Woking in 2002; wanting to add a wildcard element, DJ Shorty was recruited on decks shortly afterwards. Sadly the founder member, Robert Jacob died in 2005, however the band now continue as a four-piece. A formiddable and highly entertaining urban jazz and breaks live act combining drum’n’bass, hip-hop, funk and improvised jazz, NSC has played many venues around the UK, including Glastonbury, the Jazz Cafe and London Jazz Festival PizzaExpress Freestage. From b-boys to funksters, from jazzers to junglists, all musicians bring their personal influences to the act in an energetic explosion of sound .
Admission Free

Sunday 16 July, Purcell Room, 3pm, The Have-a-Go Drum Show with Mark Walker
Presented by Mark Walker from the Lion King and Rolf Harris Band:

Totally fun, thoroughly entertaining and completely participative, the Have-a-Go Drum Show gives you the chance to drum, sing and dance to music and rhythms from around the world. Mark’s shows are always an uplifting experience, involving large amounts of fun and audience participation for all ages.
Show supported by Zildjian Cymbals and FCN Music
Tickets £7.50 £5 (under 16s) Family ticket (admits four, must include one adult and one child): £14
Mark Walker in association with *SBC
Saturday 22 July, Riverside Room & QEH Foyer 12noon – 7.15pm, A Day at the Caravansary
Caravansary is a cultural organization inspired by the arts and spirituality of the legendary Silk Road, who offers workshops in middle-eastern percussion, facilitate a weekly Sufi meditation, and organize concerts, talks, and Rumi events.

During Rhythm Sticks there will be three taster workshops for frame-drumming, middle-eastern dance and darbouka (goblet drum). No experience required and all are welcome. Please wear loose clothing and appropriate footwear (or no footwear) for the dance workshop.

WORKSHOPS (Riverside Room)
12:00-1:30 Sufi frame-drumming
2:00-3:30 Darbouka (goblet drum)
4:00-5:30 Middle-eastern dance
Tickets £5
6:15-7:15 Performance by Caravansary Daf Ensemble and Dervish Fire
Admission Free
Caravansary in association with *SBC

Saturday 22 July, Terrace, Festival Riverside, 3pm, Drum Circle
Be part of a massive circle of drums pounding on the South Bank in this participatory percussive session guaranteed to get the feet tapping and hands clapping.
Facilitator: Mark Hunter
Supported by Remo
Instruments provided
Admission Free
Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 July, Queen Elizabeth Hall Backstage,
Planet Drum 1-2-1workshops (admission via QEH artists’ entrance)
One-to-One lessons (30 mins each) on drumkit or latin percussion with tutors from Planet Drum. 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm
Suitable for ages seven and over
Tickets £13 each
Planet Drum in association with *SBC

Sunday 23 July, QEH Foyer 6.15-7.15pm, Sekgura
The Sekgura Ensemble are Bex Burch, Amelia Jacobs, Karen Hutt and Tom Stitchbury.
This young, inspired set of musicians bring together the timeless traditional music and instruments from Ghana with brand new contemporary tunes and varying instrumentation. A core band of four musicians write together to bring a unique sound featuring African and western percussion, guitar and voice.
Admission Free

Sunday 23 July, 11.30am & 2.30pm, QEH Riverside Room, Taiko workshops
Taiko workshops return by popular demand, led by Mark Alcock, who trained extensively in Japan with ex-Kodo frontman Katsuji Kondo, and is now leader of Greenwich-based Taiko Meantime. Fully participatory and fun-based, the workshops focus on rhythms, techniques and team-work. This workshop is suitable for taiko beginners with no musical experience, aged 10 and above. Instruments are provided.
Tickets £5
Taiko Meantime

Region: All
Venue: South Bank Centre
Venue Address: Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London
Website: http://www.rfh.org.uk
Press Tickets: Not Specified
Sponsorship: Not Specified
Press Tickets:
Name: Sabine Kindel
Phone: 020 7921 0917