“We all have a heartbeat, so we all have a rhythm.”

For information on 2012 Halifax Drum Festival please visit us at:  http://halifaxdrumfestival.com/

Alderney Landing Theater: October 11&12

We’d like to thank everyone who came out to help make our first year a resounding success!

“We had an awesome time!  The acts were all so varied – it was so cool!”- Brenda Munroe

“Thank you!  David had a great time! Glad the festival was a success”-Natalie Moyes

“Thanks! Great job and congratulations. I appreciate your effort doing this and we had a great time” –Mark Adam

“You throw an awesome party!”

“Thanks a lot, nice job on a great lineup!” –Keith Mullins

“Thanks for a most wonderful drum festival! You brought out the best in Halifax this weekend!”-Arleigh Hood

“Spectacular show and a spectacular time”-Nick Wambolt

Come celebrate with us as The Halifax Drum Festival unleashes a whirlwind of energy, excitement and excellence that can’t be beat!  By bringing together an array of rich music and dance featuring some of the best percussive based performers from Nova Scotia it promises to be vibrant, colorful and most importantly a truly entertaining experience!

A place where magic will happen!

The most common language we all share and understand more than any others is the language of rhythm! The Halifax Drum Festival celebrates the drum, its universality as an art form, and its’ presence in all cultures worldwide. We will take a journey around the world by displaying the talents of many rhythm based performers who embrace the diverse cultural traditions and myriad of styles from many countries.

“Drumfest was founded in Halifax in 1999 by percussionist and pianist Matthieu Keijser and continued as a well loved annual event in the city for eight years until his passing in 2006. As a musician and teacher, Matthieu’s intention and his greatest joy was to bring people of all ages and cultures together to delight in the universal spirit and global music of the drum. Our deepest gratitude goes to Chris Kennedy and our many friends and colleagues in the Halifax artist community as they continue in this same spirit. We embrace them as they stretch, expand, strengthen and go beyond…”    Joann, Jonathan, and Zoe Keijser.

Halifax Drum Festival is Proudly Produced By:

With A Special Thanks to our GOLD SPONSOR:

Schedule And Ticket Information

Friday September 9th

Mainstage Performance: 8 PM

Advance Tickets:                   $35.00 (Purchased prior to September 1st)

After September 1st:            $40.00

Saturday September 10th

Matinee Performance: 12 PM

Adult Tickets:                          $25.00

Child/Youth:                            $15.00

Mainstage Performance: 8 PM

Advance Tickets:                   $35.00 (Purchased prior to September 1st)

After September 1st:            $40.00

All Inclusive Weekend Passes: $110.00


Saturday September 10th

Drumming Workshops

Don’t forget to join us for our two exciting drum workshops! Facilitated by Chris Kennedy and Mark Currie they’re a great way to learn something new or hone your existing techniques!

Both workshops take place at Alderney Landing Theater and open for pre-registration or drop-in.

Space is limited;  so book your spot early! Pre-registration is available by email: chris@thegoatworks.com

Djembe Workshop with Chris Kennedy

Time:           1.30 pm

Cost:           $10.00

Bodhran Workshop with Mark Currie

Time:            3.00 pm

Cost:            $10.00



Fola, meaning “to play” in Guinean, plays traditional West-African rhythms that have been passed down from generation to generation for millennia. These rhythms endure because they are said to contain a distilled wisdom that we instinctively recognize. Some are joyous, some are meditative, some are aggressive; all speak to ones spirit. Fola has studied with master drummers from Guinea, staying as close as possible to the origins of the music. The group consists of four members. Bruce Armstrong and Marta Ciechanska play the djuns djuns, which provide a hypnotic           heartbeat, a melodic, rhythmic foundation for the djembe. Chris Kennedy and Anthony Tucker play supporting djembe patterns and create solos that weave through the djun patterns, creating an intricate musical tapestry. Fola has been a repeat performer at Halifax Jazz Fest, Halifax Drum Fest, performed with Master drummers Famoudou Konate & M’Bemba Bangoura, performed at Bermuda Jazz Festival, as well as Bermuda’s National holiday celebrations. Experience for yourself the joy of West African Music.

Samba Nova

Halifax’s own Samba Nova rocks out dynamic Brazilian rhythms in a batucada style that will get your feet moving from the very first beats. It’s a multicultural and multi-generational community group that’s been a fixture in Halifax for over 15 years. Samba Nova was founded by the late Matthieu Keijser, who many locals will remember as a much-loved leader in the local music scene. Then in 2007 under the skilled leadership of Carlos Pessoa the group developed a fresh new repertoire and members contributed to a new look with the familiar green and white shirts emblazoned with a stylized hand. Now with the joint musical leadership of Ian Taylor and Alex Nunes the band is thriving and exploring some new sounds including the addition of a celtic flavour, and behind the scenes is working on arranging additional pieces with a fusion twist for debut sometime soon at one of the many events they enjoy playing.

Mark Adam

Drummer/percussionist Mark Adam has made a versatile career across Canada and around the world as a strong, creative musical voice and has leant his support to a diverse array of the best musicians this country has to offer.

Mr. Adam has played with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Evergreen Gamelan Club been an ensemble member and guest soloist in the New Works Calgary Ensemble, principal percussionist of the Banff Center for the Arts Orchestra under Krysztof Penderecki and a frequent performer on CBC. He has shared the stage with Ralph Bowen, Jonathan Kreisberg, Mike Murley, and Andrew Downing as well as tours with The Dave Restivo Quintet, Carol Welsman and Jake Langley.

He currently does studio and live work with a wide range of Atlantic artists from Classical to Jazz to Rock/Pop, Folk and Country. Mark teaches at Acadia University winning awards for his teaching there, directs the Acadia Summer Jazz Workshop as well as the Ross Creek Teen Music Career Academy and is one of the East Coast’s most in demand percussion/music educators and motivational speakers having been a guest artist of many universities, school boards and music festivals.

Based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Mark shares his life with his best friend and wife Trina, their son Oliver and daughter, Avi Mae. Mark Adam endorses Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

Mark Currie

“From Bedford, Nova Scotia, Mark is one of Canada’s finest Bodhran players and is a respected session musician and teacher. He plays traditional Kerry style. Mark has been a member of several bands including the An Cumman Ceili Band (Irish Association of Nova Scotia), Off With Their Heads, and is a founding member of MacCrimmon’s Revenge. He made annual appearances at Drumfest, the brainchild of the late percussion master Matthieu Keijser, and was a performer in the early productions of Brooks Diamond’s Drum. He was also one of thirteen musicians selected for CBC’s East Coast World Music Summit band in 2007 leading to a performance with the East Coast New World Orchestra led by violinist/composer Chris Church at the Toronto’s Luminato Festival in 2008.

Mark is the Bodhran instructor for The Halifax Celtic Music Workshop series and Dartmouth’s 2010 Re-Jigged Celtic Music Festival. Over the past twenty years Mark has shared the stage with some the East Coast’s finest talent including Mary Jane Lamond, Scott MacMillan, Asif Illyas among others.

He has performed at the Lunenburg Harbour Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Atlantic Jazz festival, and the Deep Roots Festival. Also in demand as a studio musician, he has done recent work for Kim Wempe, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, and Dusty Keleher.”

Keith Mullins

Cape Breton’s Keith Mullins is well-known as a go to guy for many Canadian artists of fame including Lennie Gallant, Bruce Guthro, and Gordie Sampson.

Now with his own project, Keith’s new CD “Localmotive Farm” is being played in over 50 radio stations nationally and has received rave reviews.  He is also well-known in schools across the country for his various drumming, salsa, and songwriting workshops.

His debut CD Localmotive Farm shares the name with his “ecologically minded” farm in Coldstream, NS.  His brand new CD entitled Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project is a colloboration with schools in Northern Alberta, written, performed and recorded in 10 days.

The CD has already sold over 5000 copies to raise funds for school programming in these schools.


The Junkbeats

The Junkbeats are a fresh new group with an upbeat urban sound and a musical message about environmental responsibility – a live percussion show with a crazy junk-kit of buckets, garbage cans, crates, ladders and you-name-it!
It’s an energetic, in-your-face show that really gets everyone’s attention.
Members of The Junkbeats have toured all over with professional groups, including prestigious showcases with the DRUM! show, in Ottawa, Parliament Hill on Canada Day and in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympics.  The group is currently playing this summer at Dollywood (Dolly Parton’s famous family theme park) in Tennessee for the annual KidsFest.
The Halifax Drum Festival performances will feature band leader, Chuck Bucket (The DRUM! Show, and drummer for blues artist Keith Hallet), and Greg Hann (drummer for up-and-comer Carlton Stone).

Ken Shorley

Ken Shorley is one of Nova Scotia’s most diverse and gifted percussionists; who specializes in the mesmerizing and exotic  hand drumming traditions of India and the Middle East.

He is also dedicated to the music of Indonesian gamelan.

His ensemble, Mindful Flower Gamelan, is the first of its kind in the Maritimes, performing traditional and contemporary Sundanese gamelan music.

Ken is active as a composer, with recently completed works for the TorQ Percussion Quartet, Autorickshaw and the Acadia Theatre Company.

Some of his most recent appearances include Halifax’s Prismatic Festival, World in Wolfville Drum Night, and the Halifax Jazz Festival (with the klezmer group, Der Heisser).

We are proud and exciting to see Ken join us at the festival; you’re sure to enjoy his performance!

Compania Azul

Compañía Azul has a heart split between the coasts of Atlantic Canada and the dry earth of Andalusia.

Drawn to the beauty of the music, movement and rhythms of flamenco, Compañía Azul creates a passionate, stunning display of emotion, sound and colour.

Founded by dancer Megan “Azulita” Matheson of El Viento Flamenco in February 2010, the group premiered at the Neptune Studio Theatre in September 2010, followed by performances at the Deep Roots Festival, Fall for Flamenco Festival and the Nova Scotia Creative Arts Gala.

Their performance will feature along with Azulita,  Compañía Azul members Bob Sutherby (guitarist), Sean Harris (singer) and Tony Tucker (percussionist).

Together the company strives to bring their own voice to flamenco, melding diverse backgrounds of various musical styles, while maintaining grounding in the flamenco traditions.

The Bedford Players

Award winning percussionist Jay Andrews (www.stickswork.com) and Dj D-Yazz (www.myspace.com/djdyazz) have teamed up to bring you an experimental music project called The Bedford Players.

A few years in the making, this show has been well worth the wait!

The Bedford Players have prepared a mixed salad of sonic goodness combining beatboxing, percussive instruments, found sounds, and samples from old jazz records, culminating in a raw organic sound made possible by electronic circuits.

We are pleased to have this exciting hip duo join our line-up this year, and your sure to enjoy their modern twist!


Cultural Diversity Drummers

Umoja are a unique and dynamic group of diverse individuals dedicated to promoting the art and science of various ethno cultural styles of drumming.

Formed in 2011 the members showcase a variety of different drum techniques combined with a rich interactive musical experience.

“So, enjoy the beat …it goes from head to feet !”


This Halifax born drumcorps has riveted audiences throughout North America with their visually stunning choreography since Fall 2000.

Ranging in ages from 22 to 30 this young talented group offers a high energy show that can’t be matched anywhere else in Canada. Drawing from a wide range of drumming influences, SQUID has developed a unique, unconventional show which has earned them comparisons to Stomp and other groundbreaking percussion groups.



Guarapo is a Halifax based collaboration between percussionists Inti Gonzalez (Mexico) and Christopher Cookson (Montreal), as well as guest musicians from Nova Scotia.Both are members of Halifax dance bands Zulkamoon and Zumbini Circus.

The collaboration derives its name from the sugarcane drink of Cuba and is a reflection of the sweet percussive blend of rhythms from Spain, Mexico Cuba and Brazil. Guarapo blends and interprets familiar Latin beats and rhythms with the Peruvian cajon, Cuban congas as well as bells, snare and vocal beat boxing.

A sweet musical blend with plenty of Mexican spice.

Thanks to our Friends & Supporters for helping to make our first year a success!

Arthur Canning

Gift Shop Pictures