Newport drum circle offers weekly performances online

There may not be as many local musical entertainment choices these days on the Oregon Coast, but the Newport/Oregon Coast Community Drum Circle has expanded its usual summer program of performances and participatory events with its new weekly World Beat Rhythm Celebration & Virtual Global Drum Circle online live broadcasts from Newport.

The three-hour show has been streaming live, simultaneously on Facebook Live and the interactive Zoom platform, every Saturday afternoon since May 9 from 4-7 p.m. to a global audience of approximately 3,000 viewers. 

The May 9 start date coincided with the start date of what would have been the tenth year of the popular Nye Beach Second Saturday Summer Celebration free performances that the Drum Circle sponsored on the outdoor theater stage at the former Café Mundo, and with the resumption of what would have been the nonprofit organization’s 13th summer of free, family-friendly, twice-monthly open drum circles at Don and Ann Davis Park in Newport’s historic Nye Beach neighborhood.

“We would also be doing many other performance and participatory drumming events during the summer months that have had to be canceled due to the coronavirus,” Chandler Davis, the organization’s longtime leader and facilitator, said. “So, we kind of combined it all into one three-hour weekly special event.”

The broadcast is hosted by the multicultural Thunder & Lightness Duo, featuring Davis on traditional hand drums and percussion along with percussionist Sandra Surber and Terry Filer on the Native American flutes, and it features well-known local and regional musical guests.

“We are also welcoming drummers of all skill levels to play along either in the privacy of their own home or online on the Zoom platform,” Davis said. “The platform wasn’t originally designed for music and it presents some challenges, but we are finding workarounds. But the beauty of it is that distance is no longer a barrier to participation. We can invite guests – professional and otherwise – to join us safely from remote locations anywhere in the country, or even — theoretically — in the world!”

Zoom requires special codes and passwords to get onto the platform to participate, but Davis has been posting them publicly on his personal Facebook page and on the “Newport Community Drum Circle” Facebook page shortly before each broadcast. For those who want to watch and listen, or play along, in the comfort and anonymity of their home, the Facebook Live stream can be accessed via a simple link — no codes or passwords — that will appear on Davis’s Facebook page post as soon as the show goes live.

For more information or to arrange to appear as a guest on the broadcast, contact Davis directly at [email protected] or 541-272-4615.