Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
The Royal Drummers of Burundi have been playing for kings longer than they have for crowded auditoriums. Before the Drummers began touring in the ’60s, their performances were traditionally reserved for coronations and other landmark events. Their music and skills have been passed down for generations; listeners today can be hypnotized by the thunderous, improvised pounding of handmade drums—the largest of which come from tree trunks. In “Mombasa Party,” the Drummers use these traditional drums to beat out the rhythms of taarab, a blend of sounds from several continents. Dressed in red, white, and green outfits that echo the colors of their nation’s flag, the Drummers complement their music with acrobatic dancing. Most of us have no throne, crown, or scepter to call our own, but the Drummers of Burundi promise to make the plebe nightlife a little less commonplace when they perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and Saturday, Oct. 8, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. $20–$40. (703) 993-2787. (Kim Rinehimer)