The drummers who participate in Denver Drum and Dance’s weekly drum circle typically gather at Denver Art Society on Sunday evenings. But for April, they have been spending Sunday afternoons drumming on the Red Rocks Amphitheatre stage.
Todd Dooley, the circle’s organizer, arrived in Colorado five years ago from Illinois, where he hosted similar events. He organized Denver Drum and Dance a little over three years ago.
“There are Latin and African rhythms out there that are all sheet music, and it can feel restraining,” he says. “[At Denver Drum and Dance], no one is going to interrupt to tell you you’re playing a song wrong. I believe in trying to just provide space for us to come together.”
Parnicky appreciates how open and welcoming the group is. He is mainly a guitar player and doesn't consider himself a drummer — but he still has fun playing the instruments each week.
“We make it very open,” he says. “There is no membership card for Denver Drum and Dance, I’ll tell you that. We openly invite people from the crowd [at Red Rocks]. There are a ton of little kids. They love banging on drums, and they come and go throughout the course of the afternoon.”
"All the people exercising on the stairs [at Red Rocks] have been giving us standing ovations,” he adds. “It’s a great feeling. It’s like hitting a home run out of the ballpark or something."
Denver Drum and Dance, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 29, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, 720-865-2494.