Benjamin Thomas talks drums

Drummers are, arguably, the least celebrated instrumentalists in the jazz world, with the drummer’s role analogous to the heart—a highly skilled and artful sustaining of the band’s pulse. As such, the players are often taken for granted because they are simply expected to function at their peak. But with increasing experimentation in popular jazz, one-off side projects such as Mehliana are heightening awareness of the hidden world of percussion-driven music. This year’s festival features an impressive array of drummers. Here’s the scoop on just a handful of the percussive talents who hit festival stages this week and are sure to get your heart pumping.

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