Are you an avid music-lover who lives and breathes drums? There’s no better way to embrace your passion for and expand your knowledge of drumming than to head on a trip to somewhere where the local community loves drums and music as much as you do.
If you’re planning your summer vacation but you don’t have a destination in mind, here are some of the best vacation destinations for drummers, from the birthplace of the djembe drum to the Native American lands where shaman drums, powwow drums, and more came to be.
Congo, the second-largest African nation, is a paradise for daring and nature-loving globe-trotters. It offers countless national parks chocked with turbulent rivers, lush foliage, and incredible wildlife. Don’t forget Mount Nyiragongo, one of Congo’s infamous active volcanoes.
But what Congo also has is a bustling music scene. Kinshasa, the capital of Congo, has been a center of music innovation since the country’s colonial era. Congolese rumba, a genre of dance music, is one of the most popular music styles in Congo. Rumba music is created using a variety of instruments, including the conga drum. Although conga drums originated in Cuba, they were created by people of African descent and became widely popular instruments for use in Latin and Afro music.
Another place passionate drummers might want to consider visiting is the gorgeous country of Mali in Western Africa. Mali is the perfect destination for history buffs. You can tour the Dogon region, Tuareg camps, and even the renowned Sahara Desert, which is located in the country’s north.
It’s also the perfect designation for music buffs. The Mandinka tribe, who resided in what’s now known as Mali, invented the djembe drum in the 12th century. The djembe is one of the most important ritualistic instruments in Mali, Guinea, and Senegal and the most popular drum for drum circles in other countries.
That’s a bit general, don’t you think? Let’s be a bit more specific, then. The next best vacation destinations for drummers are the states of California, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Why? Because these states account for over one-third of the Native American population in the US.
For many Native American tribes, music is an integral part of everyday life. Drums in particular are regarded as sacred and respected instruments. The beat of the drum is said to represent the heartbeat of Mother Earth, and it allow players and listeners alike to communicate with benevolent spirits, gods, and even the souls of ancestors.
Want to spend your vacation dancing, singing, and shopping to your heart’s content? At local powwows, you’ll bear witness to massive powwow drums and maybe even get the chance to play one yourself. Want to sweat away your worries and play the drums at the same time? Visit a sweat lodge to take part in a sweat lodge ceremony. However, keep in mind that it’s important to be respectful when you attend these important cultural events. Make sure the event you’re attending is fully open to the public before showing up, and always follow the rules.