Artist Profiles: Drummers of Burundi

The Drummers of Burundi
The Drummers of Burundi

The spectacular rhythms of The Drummers of Burundi have been cited as inspirational to rock and folk musicians The Clash, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez & Malcolm McLaren. Yet, these master drummers, from Burundi (the small African country between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania) almost at the very heart of Africa, rarely travel abroad or tour and the making and playing of these drums remains a privilege that can only be handed down from father to son.

The drums are made from a tree that grows only in Burundi, and the Drummers plant the seeds of the trees to maintain their drum-making skills for future generations.

Originally, The Drummers of Burundi accompanied the King on his travels; today they play at local festivities, national events and are considered by the Rundi (the inhabitants of Burundi) to be the most important representatives of the country’s musical tradition.

Live in concert the Drummers of Burundi are a fascinating show of music and dance. Full of energy, grace and pure athleticism, the 12-strong troupe, traditionally dressed in colorful robes, perform compelling rhythms and complex syncopations while leaping, dancing, singing, or even fighting imaginary enemies over their drums


Drummers of Burundi (Real World )
The Drummers of Burundi: Live at Real World (Real World 62338, 1993)
The Master Drummers of Burundi (Arion, 1994)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.


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