Some believe that there is an instinctive connection between women and rhythm that is both mysterious and tangible. Women have long been part of musical celebrations throughout the world, bringing a mystifying essence that speaks directly to the hearts that are beating in time to the music. It is this connection to rhythm and drumming that has inspired groups of women to join together in celebration of the essence of femininity as can only be expressed through the beauty of drums.
Locally-based drumming groups across the world are focusing on the special qualities that women bring to drumming, as well as the community benefit women feel through drumming together. Forming these bonds through the nature of drumming can be an important part of building life-long relationships and deriving support through drumming camaraderie. Groups like The Women’s Drum Center promote these very ideals through programs that reach out to women and girls and provide the means for establishing a community of women drummers, no matter the drumming style or whether a djembe, drum kit or timbales are the preferred instrument.
Performance groups such as Nimbaya! are touring, bringing a message of unity among women, as well as breaking barriers in cultures where women and drumming were not allowed. These women have joined together to show the power, talent and beauty that women bring to African drumming, dancing and rhythm. Batala, based in Washington, D.C., plays a wide range of Latin percussion instruments among its all-female ranks, continuing the tradition established in 1997 by Giba Gonçalves, but with a twist. For women and girls who want to rock out, the Hit Like a Girl 2012 contest is currently accepting entries to its contest that promises an abundance of prizes, and most importantly, the support and resources of major drumming publications and equipment manufacturers to help establish and encourage female drummers.
With the reach of drumming encompassing the entire world, and the growing presence of women drummers overall, the connection between women and rhythm can be seen as a global testament to the spirituality of drumming as it relates to women. For the cajon or djembe drummer, this connection not only brings a familiarity to the experience of drumming, but can also provide a nurturing basis that establishes friendships, as well as a life-long love and appreciation of drumming.