I have been entranced by the playing of Ojibwe drummer Jordan Mowat ever since hearing him open the “Canada Dreams” celebration in 2017 at The Barn. For me, both Jordan and his music were breathtaking discoveries! Armed with nothing but a small hand-held drum, here was a brilliantly talented but peacefully gentle young man who was full of sunshine and the joy of music. From that moment, I began wondering how we could work together to explore our respective worlds of music side by side, and invite more people in to share it…
The answer became an original piece called The Little Drummer. The story is simple. A young boy, overwhelmed by the trappings of a busy commercial Christmas, finds his inner joy by discovering the music of a street drummer. Davy feels he is losing his family as they throw themselves wholeheartedly into another busy Christmas season. Teased for not knowing what he wants for Christmas, he runs away. In a back street, he discovers a street drummer. Here is music he has never heard before! He is captivated, and realizes that the drummer holds the answer to his restlessness. But what does he really want for Christmas? The drum? Or its music?
So starts the story which explores how different traditions can not only find common ground and mutual respect, but how they can revel in each other’s company.
What a wonderful journey to have Jordan Mowat together with the 80 voices of the Westben Youth, Teen and Festival Choruses under the direction of Donna Bennett in this 75-minute narrated concert! Musically, The Little Drummer includes a happy convergence of both familiar and excitingly new music. It has been a joy to walk together with Jordan, each of us singing our own songs, and together, singing new ones. We have enjoyed exploring one another’s traditions from hauntingly beautiful Ojibwe round dance songs to traditional Christmas favourites. It has been especially enriching to collaborate together on new music written especially for this event. This is music which is more than the sum of its parts: it is music which nurtures a deeply gratifying musical meeting place that is welcoming, full of possibility and radiant with friendship.
Saturday, November 24, 1:00 pm at The Barn
Sunday, November 25, 3:00 pm at The Barn
Saturday, December 1, 3:00 pm at Northminster United Church in Peterborough
Sunday, December 2, 3:00 pm at Norwood United Church
Student (18-30) $15
Youth (under 18) $5