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Rhythm Wranglers

Dave Brewer's Creative Drumming seeks that "Moby Dick" vibe.


On the second Sunday of every month, Dave Brewer pools as many wannabe drummers as he can for an hour-long Drum Circle. As participants pound away, the Canton native enhances the session with mini-history lessons on the Caribbean and African roots behind each rhythmic riff and handclap. But he's not trying to make you find religion in the beat. "I'm not professing that people get in touch with their inner selves," he says. "This is not a form of meditation."

Instead, it's Brewer's way of passing along several decades' worth of percussive passion that took him to New York in the '70s to play drums for the First Moog Quartet. Founded by synthesizer inventor Bob Moog, the ensemble toured and performed with some esteemed groups, including the Boston Pops. "I'm not some dilettante, hoofing it with rhythm-making," he sniffs. "There are people who do this as a side issue, but I do it as a full-time thing."

Brewer estimates that he's taught his Creative Drumming program to more than 2,200 students since the mid-'70s. In addition to the monthly drum circles, he hosts quarterly percussion clinics on funk, gospel, and country music. And every year, he stages Rhythm Reunion, a showcase where he names one of his protégés Student of the Year. "We recognize talent and perseverance," he says. "But I don't put a limit on how fast each student can learn. The real answer is how much you need to practice. Most of all, have fun while developing skills as a rhythm maker."
Sun., May 14, 5-6 p.m.

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