UNESCO Creative Cities Network announce Voyage of the Drum

Kansas City

Kansas City and the UNESCO Cities of Music announce the Voyage of the Drum.

18 UNESCO Creative Cities will participate in celebration of Fete de la Musique on 21 June 2021.

The videos will be streamed on YouTube courtesy of the Music Export Poland with the support of the Polish Ministry of Culture.


The Voyage of the Drum is hosted by UCCN with Kansas City Missouri USA – the only UNESCO Creative City of Music in the United States.  The Voyage of the Drum unites the cities of the world through the drum – one of humanity’s earliest instruments. The Voyage of the Drum celebrates the African Diaspora around the world and demonstrates how the influence of African rhythms is felt through many world music cultures. The 18 participating cities include (year the City joined UNESCO UCCN):

  1. Adelaide, Australia (2015)
  2. Ambon, Indonesia (2019)
  3. Bogotá, Colombia (2012)
  4. Chennai, India (2017)
  5. Daegu, South Korea (2017)
  6. Frutillar, Chiles (2017)
  7. Glasgow, Scotland (2008)
  8. Hamamatsu City, Japan (2014)
  9. Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal (2015)
  10. Kansas City, Missouri, USA (2017)
  11. Kazan, Russia (2019)
  12. Kingston, Jamaica (2015)
  13. Kirşehir, Turkey (2019)
  14. Leiria, Portugal (2019) with special guests from Guinea-Bissau
  15. Llíria, Spain (2019)
  16. Nassau, Bahamas (Crafts and Folk Art – 2014)
  17. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2019)
  18. Veszprém, Hungary (2019)

For more information:  Anita Dixon – Kansas City – Creative City KC +1.816.612.0864

Jacob Wagner Kansas City – Creative City KC +1.816.507.1847

In Europe – please contact: Tamara Kamińska, Director, Music Export Poland


Short description of featured content:

Adelaide, Australia (2015) features Bortier Okoe and African Soul. Bortier is a master drummer from Ghana West Africa.

Ambon, Indonesia (2019) celebrates the musical program – “Tifa Booyratan”, which features the Tifa, a traditional drum handed down from the ancestors of the Ambonese people, which is also used in other islands of the Melanesian archipelago.

Bogotá, Colombia (2012) includes the band Curupira, the Philharmonic Youth Band of Bogota of the Orquesta Filarmonica Bogota OFB – including San Pelayo – a Fandango (the traditional rhythm of the Caribbean coast of Colombia) with West African influences from Senegal and Mozambique.  19:25 minutes 

Chennai, India (2017) features youngsters and masters, including Velu Aasan on the Parai – an ancient frame drum. Vikku Vinayakrum and his son Uma Shankar and play the Ghatam. Both musicians are well-known for their work with Zakir Hussein and John McLaughlin. 19:49 minutes 

Daegu, Korea (2017) features performances recorded at Daegu Kolon Park (May 2021). The Nalmoe Buk (drum) Dance is a folk dance passed down in the Bisan-dong area of Daegu. The performance course consists of seven (7) different rhythms.  23:19 minutes

Frutillar, Chile (2017) features the drummer Manuel Paez with Martina Venegas and dancers Esteban Ortiz and Javiera Anabalon. Paez, composer and author of the “Southern World Drum Method” (2008). 6:19 minutes

Glasgow, Scotland (2008) features Martin O’Neill on the bodhran drum. He demonstrates the drum and its connection with the frame drums of North Africa. O’Neill is featured in a performance with the traditional ensemble Project Smok (Ali Levack and Pablo Lafuente). 7:44 minutes 

Hamamatsu City, Japan (2014) features scenes from the Hamamatsu Festival (May 2019) and the traditional Ohayashi music performed as part of the festival. The video presents traditional Japanese music with roots in the Kabuki Theater. 12:38 minutes 

Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal (2015) A song by the group Sete Lágrimas is presented. The song includes the Adufe drum, which dates to the Islamic period (8th-15th c.) when it was a popular instrument in the Iberian Peninsula. The Adufe (a double membrane square frame-drum made of goatskin and orange wood) is the renowned symbol of Idanha-a-Nova, in Portugal.  13:56 minutes

Kansas City, Missouri, USA (2017) From Kansas City, Missouri USA – the host and instigator of the Voyage of the Drum project, comes a video featuring Bird Ellington Fleming – percussionist, teacher and environmental leader of the Traditional Music Society and the Soundz of Africa. 12:45 minutes 

Kazan, Russia (2019) presents the crossover orchestra Innuendo. Their entire oeuvre is a crossover. Each of the numbers brings a vibrant ethnic flavor to the concert. The Innuendo orchestra is made up of professional performers and teachers. The ensemble is conducted by Marat Hilmutdinov, cello concertmaster of the M.Jalil Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.  20:23 

Kingston, Jamaica (2015) features Musical Director Majorie Whylie and a history of the different eras of the drum rhythms in Jamaica with connections to the impact of drumming on dance, religion and the lives of Jamaicans today. The film ends with a performance by the late, great Bunny Wailer from 2015. 12:47 

Kirşehir, Turkey (2019) proudly presents a video with examples of local songs being played with drums and zurna. The music genre unique to our city and performed by Abdals is “Bozlak”. The basic instruments in the musical style of Abdals are baglama (a kind of stringed instrument, violin, drum, zurna (a kind of flute) and spoon. It is an original style of music in terms of bringing together these instruments. 7:26 minutes 

Leiria, Portugal (2019) with special guests from Guinea-Bissau. The Creative City of Leiria Portugal invited Guinea-Bissau to participate with a video demonstrating the tradition of Mandjuandadi, which features female collectives of musicians who sing and dance by improvising lyrics about their concerns. Locally, Leiria City of Music gathered 16 folklore groups to participate. The film highlights the connections between music and traditional ceramics (Music with Crafts and Folk Art), including the featured Bilhas ou Cântaro de Barro (the ceramic drum). 17:22

Llíria, Spain (2019) presents the “Twelve Labors of Hercules” by the Kontakte Percussion Ensemble. The music includes a combination of modern melodic percussion instruments of marimba and vibraphone with ancient percussion instruments and old wind and string instruments. The members of the Kontakte Percussion Ensemble include Sergio Izquierdo, Joaquín Lambíes, Miguel Ángel Orero and Fransesc Vidagany. 19:08 

Nassau, Bahamas (Crafts and Folk Art – 2014) shares the history of the Junkanoo music of Nassau, Bahamas, which is an important part of the Nassau mission as a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art. The video includes an overview of the music for the bass drum and alterations of instruments for modern times. A second section presents guitarist and producer Fred Ferguson of Nassau – who explains the roots of guitar music in the Bahamas and its connections to the rhythms of Junkanoo. 10:20 minutes

Norrköping, Sweden (2017) presents a music video and original composition from Anders Grentzelius/Klas Isaksson known as DirtyTwo of electronic music and Deep House. Norrköping is musically diverse but house music is one of the important electronic expressions for the old industrial city. The music demonstrates the transformation of jazz and funk drumming through digital media and technology sampling and other electronic forms of production. Deep House traces its roots to early club anthems such as the 1986 track Mystery of Love by American DJ Larry Heard (aka Mr. Fingers).

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (2019) features the Cofradía de los Congos del Espíritu Santo – an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (2001) and World Heritage (2008). The video features several traditional knowledge-keepers, including Tomas Brand, Felix Martinez (Don Enrique), Mario Marte and Ms. Eneroliza Núñez.  14:49 

Veszprém, Hungary (2019) the 2023 European Capital of Culture, a piece is presented on marimba by Csaba Sipos who is a percussionist from Veszprém. Sipos performs a piece by the American composer Paul Smadbeck entitled Rhythm Song – one of the composer’s most well-known pieces for marimba. 9:43