One of the most gifted and celebrated percussion ensembles in the world, The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi return to Houston for one night only, Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m., presented by Society for the Performing Arts. Check out the video below!
Hailing from a small country in East Africa, The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi have performed the same way for centuries, passing down drumming traditions and techniques from father to son. Their vibrant power and precision on 20 drums originally accompanied kings. Now, the heart-stopping sounds cross social and cultural barriers worldwide and offer a glimpse into a unique way of life.
Since the 1960s, The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi have toured outside of their country, becoming a popular attraction at concert halls and festivals around the world. Their massed drum sound, or “Burundi beat” as it became known, caught the ear of Western musicians. They even appeared on Joni Mitchell’s album The Hissing of Summer Lawns in 1975. Their distinctive sound also influenced British rock bands of the early 1980s, such as Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow. In 1982, it was a performance by The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi that inspired artistic director Thomas Brooman to create the first WOMAD festival in the UK – an event that helped launch the World Music boom.
Tickets range from $35-$80 and can be purchased online at www.spahouston.org, by phone at 713-227-4772 or at the courtyard level ticket office at Jones Hall located at 615 Louisiana St. Hours of operation: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. For groups of 15 or more call 713-632-8113.