Love for cajons is sweeping the world. The simple-looking boxes may fool the uninitiated into thinking they are not worth trying, but they have proven to be a highly satisfying addition to anyone’s percussion collection. Easy to transport, with a great sound that never fails to energize both drummer and audience, the cajon is almost like a genie in bottle. You can never predict how your life will be affected by it.
Swan Percussion began in 2008 by founders Eric Holland and Mike Meadows. Eric, a designer and craftsman, and Mike, a freelance drummer/percussionist, combined their exquisite talents to develop the drumming sensation known as The Black Swan Drum and they haven’t looked back since. The company commits itself to creating high quality, versatile, and innovative percussion instruments that keep drummers coming back for more and their newest cajons definitely deliver.
The Macassar Ebony Cajon is part of Swan Percussion’s Artisan Limited Edition Series. This model features wooden veneers on a birch body making for a highly resonant instrument and producing a tight and focused sound. There are three (3) playing surfaces for drumming variety: a side with snares, a side without, and a side with a small, interchangeable and adjustable panel. The snare strings can be tuned individually and changed out at will. The cajon measures 13”x13 ¼”x20” tall and is equipped for the Swan foot pedal bracket on any side. Only twenty (20) of these drums will be produced in 2013 and each is numbered on the bottom.
The Swan Percussion Artisan Series Walnut Cajon is another limited edition drum. This cajon also boasts three playing surfaces: one with Swan’s ‘Bare Snare’ system of individually replaceable, tunable, and adjustable strings, one with no strings, and one with a small, interchangeable and adjustable panel. Made of walnut and maple woods, this cajon is 13”x13 ¼”x20” tall and is designed to be used as a drum throne. It can accept the Swan foot pedal bracket on each side and the sound can also be varied by loosening the screws. It, too, is engraved with a collector’s number on the bottom.
Measuring a bit smaller than the previous two, the Swan Percussion Flamenco Cajon is 12”x12 ¼”x19” tall and weighs ten (10) pounds. The front panel has snares and the back panel is twice the thickness of the front, allowing for more bass control. Where there is typically an interchangeable/adjustable panel in Swan cajons, there is a thin, non-removable panel in the Flamenco Cajon. This playing surface moonlights as a hidden piccolo panel. The front panel has also been carved to produce a guiro effect. Again, this cajon can accept the Swan foot pedal bracket on any side, adding to its versatility.
Swan Percussion keeps upping the ante and their cajons are no exception. With the licensed ‘Bare Snare’ system and the multiple playing surfaces, these cajon drums provide a rounded percussion experience in a little, wooden box.