BY: ELIZABETH SCHMIDT AND RACHEL THOMAS
Through the rhythmic beats, a local free-style drum circle meets every Sunday as a new addition to the cutting-edge music scene in Downtown Long Beach. The Percussion of Discussion drum circle started in October 2012 as a part of Long Beach Art Month. Londus Dupre, a percussionist who played in the original Woodstock and in professional drum circle, The Old Men Drum Circle, manages the group.
Dupre said he first fell in love with drumming when watching his high school’s marching band and his best friend, whom he idolized, played the drums. He now leads the Percussion of Discussion drum circle in the Bungalow art building in downtown Long Beach.
“He is a well-known drummer and plays in a lot of musicians’ recordings,” said Bungalow manager Karen Reside. “Dupre is such a great teacher, and [he] says when you drum a pattern, it’s like a heartbeat.”
According to Dupre, Long Beach has a lot of drum circles, but not a lot of places to go and play. This is where Reside came in.
“I’m one of those who believe in karma and fate,” Reside said. “Londus came in one day and we started talking. He was interested in starting a drumming circle and I said that I’m interested in hosting a drumming circle.”
Dupre said that drum circles are a way others can communicate with one another.
“When you hear a good beat your heart starts to race,” Dupre said. “Drumming is something that connects people, and I drum to see everybody else connect.”
Percussion of discussion is a conglomerate of many drum circles and helps with events at Bungalow. Although it is a drum circle, musicians and artists such as guitarists, flutists and even dancers come together to perform.
“This is the Long Beach Percussion of Discussion which means we speak with the drums,” Dupre said. “Drums are like universal conversations, we don’t have to speak one language to understand each other.”
Ram Bhakt Rezai, a member of the drum circle, has been drumming within the circle for two months.
“The best thing about drumming is the community because there are different people you are communicating with without speaking,” Rezai said. “You feel that everyone is expressing their raw emotions, and improvising in the moment. I think that’s why drum circles are appealing.”
Percussion of Discussion is open to the public of all ages and instruments are provided. The group meets every Sunday inside the Bungalow, located at 737 Pine Avenue, Long Beach from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.