The longest running drum classes in Seattle
Simone LaDrumma has been composing and performing on hand drums since 1987, first as a member of several Seattle-based bands, including Anzanga Marimba Ensemble, and then, from 1992 to 1999, as founder and Director of Ladies Don't Drum, a unique all-female percussion ensemble.
During their eight-year run, "Ladies" performed and recorded with the Seattle Men's Chorus, Maya Angelou, Holly Near and Bobby McFerrin, among others. In 1998 they released their first solo CD, "Nailin' It," to excellent reviews. The band performed throughout Canada and the U.S., including a memorable performance in New York's Carnegie Hall. In 2006 and 2007 Simone travelled to Europe to present workshops in Sweden and Germany.
In 1991 Simone began teaching drumming "for a loving" with the creation of Drumming & The Holistic Expression of Rhythm, a method of learning to play hand drums that bridges the gap between our ancient tribal heritage and modern life. Since that time she has brought the magic of rhythmic expression to thousands of people across the U.S., Canada and Europe, both as a teacher and as a performer. She has a studio in Seattle where she offers classes to people of all levels and genders. She also taught through the University of Washington's Experimental College for over 15 years.
Simone has studied with many great teachers including Babatunde Olatunji, Sheree Seretse, Dumisani Maraire, Arturo Rodgriguez, Carolyn Brandy, Chris Stromquist, Chata Addy, Pedro Vargas, Thione Diop, Mamady Keita and Ju Linares. In 2003 she went to Cuba where she studied regional drumming throughout the country. In 2011, Simone traveled to Salvador, Brazil, where she studied Brazilian percussion. She has also studied drum set with Jim Parsons and Vance Nurkula in Seattle.
LaDrumma incorporates much humor into her teaching and provides her students with background information on the cultures from which the rhythms come. She uses the term "Holistic" in her class title because she also teaches how to create your own rhythms, techniques of improvisation, and how to use the voice and body to manifest rhythm.
LaDrumma has been a perennial performer at Seattle's prestigious Women of Wisdom Conference and also has performed and led workshops at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival since its inception in 1993. For many years, Simone also emceed the Festival's Opening Night Ceremony.
Alone or with Ladies Don't Drum she has performed and/or taught at Seattle's annual Folklife and Bumbershoot Festivals (Finalist, 2007 Bumbershoot's Got Talent), at WOMADand at fairs and festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and also a prime subject on the PBS documentary, "The Grandmother Myth."
With her unique programs called "Just Say YES to Drums!" and "Drum Your Way Around the World" Simone has brought her infectious energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to thousands of children K-12, and to institutions of higher learning as well. (For a partial list of some of the schools, please see her website, under Programs for Kids.) Her work with children has also been covered by the media, including The Seattle Times.
In 2004 she was invited by Bastyr University to present a program on the connection between well-being and drumming. She has also presented programs to teachers on how to teach percussion to children.
Simone also brings her drums to libraries, prisons, churches, homeless shelters, birthday parties, weddings, corporate retreats, developmentally disabled populations, at-risk kids, and everywhere the Spirit of the Drum leads her.