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McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2008

by Frank Thompson

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2008 was once again a time of great music, wonderful weather and community spirit. The two day festival continued it’s growth and financial support of the Phoenix Day and the Golden Gate Community Center—two of Arizona’s largest charities. The attendance was over 10,000!

The Remo Drum Circle, facilitated by the Arizona Rhythm Connection’s, Frank Thompson was once again a tremendous highlight and cornerstone event of the festival. Remo sponsors a series of four drum circles during the festival. Each one is a uniquely fun and exciting experience. The first two circles on Friday were a combustion of rhythmical grooves and sprit as participants rocked it out with Frank. Long time Festival goers were sitting and waiting for the first beat of each circle. These first day circles were just the right touch to support the groove and energy of the Creamy Radio, Acoustic Stage. Derek Grimme, said that the circles were once again fantastic and great.

Day two of the Festival was a magical day. The first drum circle was a scintillating session of grooves, smiles and joy as families and friends rocked it out. Fruit Shakers, Sound Shapes, Festival Drums, Tubanos, Tambourines and bells were all in use as music and rhythm was brought to life by the participants. The closing session was an exceptional burst of exuberance and rhythm. There were nearly 300 people jammin’ to the music! It was incredible. The beat was great. Those who didn’t have instruments were clapping along and dancing on the side. Anyone in hearing range came in a little close to be lifted by the joy and soak up the groove. It was amazing to see the excitement they did not want it to end!

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival is about building community and financial support for those agencies dedicated to the children of Arizona. The Remo Drum circle at this event is a glowing example of community. What started as just an idea for people to be able to drum together on a few drums has turned into a signature event of the festival. Many now show up with their own drums and percussion and are ready to play!

AZ Rhythm Connection looks forward to supporting the event next spring for the 4th consecutive year! Keep checking, for updates about next year’s main stage performers, the Creamy Radio Acoustic Stage bands and the Remo Drum Circle facilitated by Frank Thompson and the AZ Rhythm Connection.

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