The Saturday Morning Community Music Circle
Every Saturday from 9AM-11AM, the GreenMarket hosts the “Community Music Circle.” This music collaboration performs catchy, uptempo, island songs, and encourages audience members to pick up any of a variety of percussion instruments available on site and join in the fun! This week I was able to speak with the creators of this music gathering, Michael Teller and Rich Leon to hear about how their music started.
- How did you both team up and start the Community Music Circle?
Teller: I enjoy sharing the spirit, energy and fun of hand drumming with the community. I believe it connects us all. I met Rich through the drum circle that I run on Wednesday nights in Old School Square. Rich had a vision of combining the drums and ukulele to create a warm and inviting music experience at the GreenMarket to help attract families and young children.
Leon: We met at Mike’s Wednesday night drum circle. We both recognize and appreciate the positive energy, fun, and community-building value of ‘street music’ in general—and drumming and ukulele music in particular—and thought it would fit in perfectly with the spirit of the Delray GreenMarket. Kids are really attracted to the rhythm patterns of the drums and the playfulness of ukulele-based music and songs.
- How long have you both been musicians?
Teller: I started playing African style drums (Djembe & Dun Duns) about 5-6 years ago as a hobby. I have no prior musical experience. I started the weekly Wednesday Night Downtown Delray Beach Drum Circle about two to three years ago, and more recently added a monthly Sunday afternoon (2nd Sunday of the month) family drum circle and a Saturday night circle (3rd Saturday of the month) at Veterans Park. (The two Veterans park circles where at the request of the DB Dept. of Parks & Recreation Department)
Leon: I have been playing guitar for many years but took up the baritone ukulele relatively recently, finding it to be an ideal instrument for learning, practicing and performing music. I am also a private guitar/ukulele instructor and solo live-music entertainer.
- How is the GreenMarket Community Music Circle unique to Delray Beach and how does it differ from the Wednesday night Drum Circle?
Teller: Although they’re both rooted in rhythm, the difference between the two is day and night and they both demonstrate the versatility of community based drumming and rhythm. The GreenMarket Groove Masters is an intentionally small group of players with the purpose of inviting families and young children to stop by, sit on our blanket, pick up a shaker or drum, and play along. Our music hour’s intent is to enhance the experience of visiting the GreenMarket. The Wednesday night Drum Circle is an open community gathering focused on the rhythm of the drums. In addition to the circle of drummers, Old School Square comes alive with dancers, hoopers, tight rope walkers, acro-yogi’s, spinners, artists and more. It is truly a high spirited fun night for all.
Leon: Most importantly, the GreenMarket is group a collaboration between Rich Leon (of IslandersAll.com) and Michael Teller (leader of the Downtown Delray Beach Drum Circle), that performs a specific repertoire of catchy uptempo ‘islandy’ songs—with strong rhythms—for kids and music lovers of all ages. Intended as an interactive experience, audience members—particularly young children—are encouraged to pick up any of a variety of percussion instruments provided by group members and join in on the groove. Clearly, the rhythm-grounded style of music and interactive nature of the event are what make it so effective.
- I understand you provide drums and other instruments for kids who want to join in on the fun, tell me about this.
Teller: We provide some small drums and shakers to use for those who want to join in.
- What would you like to tell newcomers about the drum circle?
Teller: Come on out and enjoy yourself!
Leon: More details about the Community Music Hour can be found at: http://islandersall.com/delray-greenmarket-community-music-hour/
Along with the exciting GreenMarket Communtiy Music Circle, the GreenMarket is excited to announce it will be hosting local chefs from premier Delray Beach restaurants. These chefs will conduct cooking classes, along with tastings, every first and third Saturday of the month. The first chef the GreenMarket welcomes is Joe Bonavita Jr. from 50 Ocean Restaurant on March 4, 2017 from 10AM-11AM! Don’t miss it!