Drum Works began in 2007, when the Barbican invited London-based musicians Ross McDouall and Jo Wills to collaborate with Brazilian cultural group Afro Reggae on a short-term samba project in an east London secondary school. Once the project was over, Afro Reggae returned home and we were left with a pile of samba drums, a group of 20 teenagers and some time to figure out what to do next. It very quickly became apparent that samba music had no real cultural relevance to the young east Londoners or London-based leaders, so instead Ross and Jo asked the participants what they wanted to do and the group started creating new material together, inspired by the music they were all listening to every day.
Drum Works Ensemble was a Project Partner for Aldgate in Winter 2022.
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