Drumming up support for arts

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Lee Grumman has made treks to Nepal, traveled to Cuba and Haiti and spent four years in China searching for ultimate truth.

One of the truths she learned was the importance of culture.

"Culture is a very important word to me," she said. "It encompasses so many things."

But Grumman was not too sure what to think about the culture of a drum circle, and she admitted to having a closed mind when she was asked to attend one soon after she moved to Seattle in 1991.

"It was right around the time of the whole men's movement thing," she said. "I didn't know what to expect."

She had experience with music and often played guitar, but the drum was different. Unlike most instruments that are taught in a one-on-one setting that prepares performers for solo work, drums are taught to a group because they are meant to be played as a group.

Once a fellow drummer taught her a simple beat, Grumman was surprised to learn that she could pick it up, and pretty soon she was playing with everyone else.

"The drum is very accessible," she said. "Anyone could play it."

Grumman moved to Carnation in 1995 and kept drumming. She got involved in the music and arts community of the Valley and eventually started giving lessons.

All of her work and interest wasn't being reciprocated to the larger community, though, so she decided to make it a bit more accessible to the public. With some of her friends, Grumman worked on putting together a drum performance where amateurs and professionals could play and learn about drums.

She fashioned it after an event in Seattle she liked to attend where anyone and everyone could come and play or just listen.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this weeks Valley Record

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