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An explosion of rhythm and percussion with Drums United

by on October 18, 2011

Led by drummer Lucas van Merwijk, Drums United is an explosive and exciting world-percussion group from the Netherlands that brings together rhythms and percussionists from all directions. Discover African drums, dance, hip hop, Indian tablas, Cuban rumbas, and much more when they explode onstage Thursday, October 27 at 7:30pm at The Fredericton Playhouse.

Drums United has almost always been on tour since its inception in 2002. It occupies a unique place in its field because of the ensemble’s skill at combining elements of the song and dance tradition with that of percussion.

Comprised of nine percussionists, from seven different countries (Bangladesh, Senegal, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Surinam and Venezuela), they are much more than just a drum group. They’re an incredible live band that not only gives the audience an opportunity of listening and watching top players, but also imparts the underlying message that people from widely varying nationalities can work well together.

Lead drummer Lucas van Merwijk has been at the forefront of the European Jazz, Latin and percussion scene for over 25 years. At the moment, van Merwijk is the initiator and bandleader of four ensembles: Drums United, Van Merwijks Music Machine, Drumix! with master percussionist Aly N’Diaye Rose, and the 20-piece salsa and Latin jazz formation, The Cubop City Big Band.

Van Merwijk is also in demand with various groups and artists throughout Europe, in particular with the internationally acclaimed group Nueva Manteca. All of these experiences have made him develop his own special style – a mix of Cuban, Brazilian and North American rhythms, characterized by powerful percussion and splendid technical skills. Van Merwijk has been staff teacher for drums and percussion at both the World Music department of the Rotterdam CODARTS conservatory as well as the Jazz department of the Amsterdam Conservatory since 1986.

In collaboration with The Playhouse Spotlight Series performance of Drums United: Ritmo Inferno, our Create, Learn and Play Series will also present a pre-show Drums United percussion workshop on Thursday, October 27 from 4-5:30pm at The Fredericton Playhouse. This participatory workshop takes you on a continent to continent ride exploring rhythms from all over the world, and is open to anyone ages 8 through adult. The cost is $15 ($10 for Spotlight members), and registration is required by contacting The Playhouse box office.

Tickets for Drums United: Ritmo Inferno are available at the Fredericton Playhouse box office 1-866-884-5800, or online at

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