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5 Great L.A. Drum Circles (Besides the Venice One)

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Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM
click to enlarge Hermosa Beach Drum Circle in February 2014 - SABINA SANDOVAL DRUMS
  • Sabina Sandoval Drums
  • Hermosa Beach Drum Circle in February 2014
After a few recent debacles between drummers and police officers at the famous Venice Beach drum circle over new excessive noise ordinances, it's time to uncover some convenient L.A. alternatives that won't have you worrying about being involved in a small riot afterwards.

The inception of drum circles began in the 1960s and has since developed styles ranging from facilitated drumming with a designated leader to something more anarchic.

We ultimately just want you to keep rocking out. Here's a list of five great drum circles in Los Angeles county.
click to enlarge Sandoval and friends at Hermosa Beach Pier - SABINA SANDOVAL DRUMS
  • Sabina Sandoval Drums
  • Sandoval and friends at Hermosa Beach Pier

Free to Be Me Drum Circle
Under the Hermosa Beach Pier every third Sunday of the month, drum leader and teacher Sabina Sandoval hauls as many drums as she can fit into her vintage 1960's VW bus to hold a full day of drumming by the water. This facilitated circle has been gathering for the past twelve years, attracting families and children to come play timbales, congas, djembes and more. Around 50 to 100 people come and go throughout the day to take part in the fun. Sandoval explains that because it's facilitated, there's much more control, as compared to the Venice Beach circle, making it a peaceful and safe experience for everyone. Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach; Third Sunday of the month, 10 a.m., freetobemedrumcircle.com.


Griffith Park Drum Circle

Every Sunday morning at around 9 a.m., while most people are in church, large groups of locals flock to Griffith Park to drum up some heavenly beats of their own. Lasting until the late hours of the night, the group can consist of more than 70 people at times. About as faithful and long-running as the Venice circle, Griffith Park has been drumming up beats for the past 35 years. With no leaders running the weekly gathering, it is recognized as a free-spirited experience for drummers from all walks of life. 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Griffith Park; Sundays, 9 a.m.

click to enlarge Remo RMC's Kids Drum Circle - REMORMC INSTAGRAM
  • remormc Instagram
  • Remo RMC's Kids Drum Circle
Remo Recreational Music Center
Along with basic community drum circles held every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m., led by Alex Spurkel, Chris Ramirez, and Ossie Mair, Remo RMC offers Health Rhythms the first Thursday of every month, providing a meditation-like aura to relieve stress, plus a women's drum circle every second Saturday 4 to 5:30 p.m. and a Kids Rhythm Club every Saturday from 9:30 to 10:05 a.m. and 11:00 to 11:40 a.m. This North Hollywood location provides the chance for both professionals and amateurs to get into the zone and express themselves. A special treat on the second Sunday of the month is a drum circle with the legendary father of drum circles, Arthur Hull.
7308 Coldwater Canyon, North Hollywood; Various. (818) 982-0461. remormc.com

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