Kalani was one of the top name percussionists in LA in the 80s and 90s, recording and touring with some of the top names in the music industry. In the last 5 years he has reinvented himself as a music therapist, and his Developmental Community Music (DCM) program is inspiring musicians of all levels to work together in drum circles and other fun and inclusive activities.
Last month, I had the pleasure of being part of Kalani's week-long DCM workshop in the LA area, and I would like to recommend the program to you as well.
There were 16 participants in this week-long workshop. There were professional percussionists, drum circle leaders, team builders, music teachers, music therapists, professional musicians, excited amateurs, a retired woman looking to find what she had missed in her life, a 22 year-old social worker from Hong Kong whose employer thought it would be a good idea to get kids involved in drum circles, and people who were facing death but affirming life. Yes, everyone was affirming life. This was an excellent and exciting group of people to eat and play and live with for a week.
Some of the workshop participants were among the best drummers I had ever heard. At least one had hardly ever beat a drum before. To me, the true beauty of the week was how we all worked together. It did not matter what level any of us were at, we made music together. The successes we shared were real, and the things we achieved were truly appreciated by every member of this group.
In addition to drumming and drum circle techniques and exercises, Kalani also teaches ukelele and Native American Flute - two very accessible instruments that have changed the course of folk music in America as more and more plain folk discover through these instruments that they can make real music, and it isn't that hard. My hope is that in the coming years the kalimba will add as much to people's personal creation of music as the uke and NAF.
Kalani does this work for fun and for his living - he facilitates several different types of drumming workshops, and he puts them on all across the country, in Dallas, Chicago, New York, and LA. If you are looking for a chance to get away for a week and experience some magic and some musical and perhaps spiritual growth, why don't you check out what Kalani s doing?
The quality of the experience I had at Kalani's weeklong workshop has made me realize that this is the sort of thing that I want to do as well. I will be holding a weekend music retreat in January of 2011 near Tucson, AZ. If you are interested in participating, please contact me.