Hands, sticks and mallets pound out old and new rhythms on weathered skins: evoking ancient forms of ‘messaging’ via global beats for dancing bodies and curious ears! The Toronto ensemble was founded by percussionists David Chan, Larry Graves and Steve Mancuso in 2008 in an effort to combine the circuitous rhythms of West Africa, Cuba, India and Brazil with the jazz-imbued horn work in the spirit of New Orleans parade bands and the uplifting spirit of American Roots Music.

With layered drumming and poly-meter at the core, many of DRUMHAND’s accessible and edgy compositions feature the one-stringed ‘stomach harp’ of Brazil or the box-shaped Gome foot-drum of West Africa alongside the woodwind explorations of Marcus Ali (Cruzao/Jason Wilson) and brass love of Rebecca Hennessy (Hobson’s Choice/Woodshed Orchestra). The group’s ‘folkloric’-style vocals appear in a variety of languages and sometimes offer audiences a part in the show.

2013 was a landmark year for DRUMHAND, with the success of their third release, CHEER ON THE SUN, and a happy-ending to an extensive tour of music festivals and concert venues across Canada. Recent performances include: 2013 TD Toronto Jazz Festival, The Guelph International Jazz Festival and Guelph's Nuit Blanche, SUNFEST (London, ON), The Markham Jazz Festival, and a twenty-four date tour-adventure through Western Canada.

Currently at work on their fourth album of original and worldly sounds (supported by The Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council), DRUMHAND is becoming increasingly known for innovative orchestrations, dynamic and uplifting performance energy, and artistic accessibility for audiences of all ages.


Made up of experienced educators, DRUMHAND offers interactive performances and hands-on percussion/drumming workshops at schools; festivals and community events. Instruments and music from around the world will be experienced: participants of all ages will explore rhythm and melody through drumming compositions, traditional folkloric songs and call-response activities. View: http://youtu.be/KMUzXTrg1bQ


Marcus Ali: Saxophones, Flutes, Voice
David Chan: Percussion, Voice
Larry Graves: Percussion, Voice
Rebecca Hennessy: Trumpet, Voice
Steve Mancuso: Percussion, Voice

General Info

Band Members
David Chan, Marcus Ali, Larry Graves, Steve Mancuso, Rebecca Hennessy.
Artist Name
Home Page
Active Since
World / Percussion-Centric Folk-Jazz

Contact Info

Toronto, ON, CA
L. Graves

Similar Artists

  • Osibisa
  • The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Weather Report