Different Drum is a versatile Afro/Latin ensemble that plays world music, specializing in South African Township, Andean Melodies, Brazilian Sambas, Salsa, Calypso and Cumbia. Having performed at numerous festivals and events throughout the Carolinas, Different Drum typically devotes equal time during their performances to Jazz, Eclectic Music and Original Songs.
The band is led by Alex Weiss who developed a love for and understanding of world music during his travels across the U.S. and Mexico, through Europe and the Middle East, to North Africa and Central America. Alex plays the congas, alto recorder, coronet, flugelhorn and other instruments. He is accompanied on the congas by his Wife, Li-Lan, who also plays other percussion instruments. The group often plays in festivals, libraries, cafes and for corporate or special events. The group can be expanded to include additional instruments as required: Bass, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Drums, Guitar.
Different Drum has become a regular in the town’s (Carrboro, NC) Entertainment Adventures family series over the years. He’s a favorite with us and the community. Alex is a multi-talented musician. He does a great family show!” – The Chapel Hill Herald, May 2003, “Multiculturalism Helps Shape Musician.”
“A lush, invigorating romp of music and poetry, percussion, flutes, voices, guitars horns, ambient forest sounds, satire, seriousness, playfulness. Prepare to be soothed, agitated, and entertained.” – Bob Slentz-Kesler of Author Magazine.
The Different Drum Experience (Gr. K-12): Alex Weiss & A Different Drum take students on a musical journey that bridges Africa and the Americas through song, dance and stories by weaving the history and cultures that connect these continents into a multi-cultural quilt of entertaining, educational performances. From the driving Rhythms of Mali through the beautiful Sambas of Brazil to the vibrant Salsa of Cuba and the playful Cumbia of Columbia, students will learn about the musical instruments that create this cultural music and the manner in which certain rhythms from these countries have influenced contemporary music. On this adventure, the audience is invited to sing along with the performers, to clap, to dance and to play percussion instruments in concert with the performers. A “Question and Answer” period will follow the show.
WORKSHOPS (Gr. 3-8): Through “A Journey Through Rhythms” Percussion Workshop, multi-instrumentalist Alex Weiss teaches the evolution of musical rhythms from the African Diaspora to the rich music of the Caribbean and the Americas. Styles presented include: South African township music, Brazilian Samba, Colombian Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi, Caribbean Calypso and Swinging Jazz from the U.S. Alex will orchestrate specific rhythms with the class and play traditional songs on the trumpet, wood flute or harmonica while students play a variety of hand drums and percussion instruments. Stories and poetry are also included in this class.