More than a dozen drums of all shapes and sizes line the sidewalk on Marshall Avenue outside a storefront. The drummers, too, come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and ages. It’s Tuesday night, and time for the weekly drum circle in front of Kopplin’s Café (2038 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul).
The event lasts from about 7-9 p.m. just as the summer day winds down. Marc Anderson — music teacher, cultural anthropologist, Buddhist priest — leads the drumming. He also brings the drums, sometimes more than a dozen, and teaches the rhythms so that even people like me (never played a drum before!) can join in. This drum circle started in 2012, and is now in its third summer.
Anderson is the founder of M2, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mindfulness and meditation. The M-2 web description of the event calls group drumming “an engaging joyful experience,” and says it helps people “develop stronger concentration, releases stress, boosts their immune systems and strengthens their connection to community.”
The website describes Anderson’s impressive musical credentials — including 35 years of drumming, 250 recordings, and performances from the Beijing Conservatory of Music to the stage of A Prairie Home Companion. He’s had appearances or recordings with Robert Fripp, Peter Ostroushko, Altan, Don Cherry, Max Roach, Greg Brown, The Minnesota Orchestra, Peter Mayer, Taj Mahal, and has studied percussion traditions in Ghana, Brazil, China and New York City.
He is also an adjunct professor at Hamline University, and involved in music programs in the St. Paul Public Schools.
Show up any Tuesday to enjoy the drumming. If you want great coffee, come early, because Kopplin’s closes at 8 p.m. Or come extra early and enjoy dinner at Trotters, right around the corner on Cleveland, and stay late for ice cream next door at Izzy’s — it’s a great neighborhood!
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.