MEGADRUMS is a global music project, combining the artistry of the finest musicians of our time. Founded by Reinhard Flatischler in 1986, MegaDrums soon became a milestone in world percussion music.
MegaDrums – for over 22 years this name has been synonymous with an exceptional musical experience for both listeners and performers. Reinhard Flatischler’s music allows room for improvisation beyond the defined structural lines of compositions. Shifting from predetermined to spontaneous is an important characteristic of the MegaDrums’ concept, giving the project both musical constancy and a wealth of innovation, allowing the space for each musician to introduce his/her personality. These criteria are so exacting that only the best are able to fulfil them: complex musical architecture on the one hand and creative freedom on the other hand as well the challenge to be free of the background of previous musical experience in order to start out on a new journey. This illustrates why MegaDrums became a forum for master drummers.
The result is a kind of music that is unmistakable in its character.
Born in Vienna in 1950, classical studies at Vienna Music University; founder of the TaKeTiNa rhythm theory. With his music and teaching, Flatischler has fundamentally changed the modern musical scene becoming one of the most popular new sounds of composition and innovation. The media repeatedly describes him as the “ambassador of the global language of rhythm.” Flatischler’s publications (e.g. "Rhythm for Evolution", Schott) are regarded as standards in the music literature.
(Brasil / USA)
Drum-set, Percussion, Vocals
Airto Moreira, several times awarded "Best Percussionist", has worked with Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Chicago and Chaka Khan among others. Airto’s music had such a strong impact on the media that "Downbeat" magazine created "Percussion" as a new category. He is regarded as the "father of percussion.”
Frame drum, Percussion, Vocals
Glen Velez is one of the most well-known frame drummers of our time. He has played with Steve Reich and also was a member of the Paul Winter Consort. According to The New York Times, "Glen Velez combines a western sense of proportion with non-western improvisation and meditative depth".
(India / USA)
Ustad Zakir Hussain, the son of the legendary tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha has been awarded for his exceptional musical achievements, with prizes such as the "Indo-American Award" and the "Sangeet Natak Academy Award". He has made musical history in many projects as: "Shakti" with John McLaughlin and L.Shankar. His recordings and performances with George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra (amongst others) as well as the soundtracks for Bertolucci's "Little Buddha" and Ismail Merchant's "In Custody" firmly establish his boundary-breaking reputation.
Bata and Conga
Milton Cardona made well over 1000 recordings, nine of which won Grammies. His career was highly influenced by Mongo Santamaria. He studied violin during his childhood in The Bronx, New York, and played bass guitar professionally in New York City as a youth before playing percussion. He' collaborated with Kip Hanrahan, Spike Lee, Paul Simon, Willie Colón, David Byrne, Cachao, Larry Harlow, Eddie Palmieri, Don Byron, Celia Cruz, Guaco, Hector Lavoe, Ned Rothenberg, Rabih Abou-Khalil and Jack Bruce from the rock band Cream. He died on September 19th, 2014, from heart failure.
Oke-Taiko, Shime-Taiko, O-Taiko
Leonard Eto was the long-time leader of the famous Japanese Kodo Drum ensemble. His playing has integrated the art of Taiko drumming into a modern context. His collaborations with Max Roach, Elvin Jones and the Drummers of Burundi have become milestones in music history.
Alto Saxophon, Flute, Ken
The classically trained saxophonist and flautist Wolfgang Puschnig has studied Asian and Afro-American musical culture intensively. He gained recognition in the USA through his collaboration with Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and Jamaladeen Tacuma, while projects in Europe such as Red Sun & Samul Nori and the Vienna Art Orchestra have created a sensation. Puschnig is the only musician presented here who has worked on every MegaDrums tour. His unique wind technique influenced the music of MegaDrums enormously.
In the early 80s, Stephen Kent came in contact with Australian Aboriginals and their instrument, the didgeridoo. Inspired by the idea of integrating its evocative sound into his work, Stephen has developed his own unmistakable style. Both on solo projects and in collaboration with Youssou N'Dour, Zap Mama, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, he has established a reputation as an innovative virtuoso on the didgeridoo.
Groups and musicians, who have been touring with the MegaDrums group in earlier years are
The world-famous Korean Drum group
The traditional Korean instruments are called pungmul.
Samul nori has its roots in Pungmul nori (literally "Korean traditional percussion instruments playing"), a Korean folk genre comprising music, acrobatics, folk dance, and rituals, which was traditionally performed in rice farming villages in order to ensure and to celebrate good harvests. Since Korea's people were, until modern times, 90% plus in farm-related work, this music defined Korean folk music or the popular music and rhymes of Korea.
A traditional Balinese Bamboo Gamelan Group
Jegog Suar Agung is a bamboo percussion ensemble from Bali
Jegog is a type of Balinese music using fourteen giant bamboo xylophones. Jegog music is indigenous to Bali's western region of Jembrana, in particular a number of villages around the Jembrana capital city, Negara.
PANDIT ARJUN SHEJWAL
One of the most outstanding pakhawaj masters of all times
The genesis and evolution of pakhawaj are shrouded in the mists of antiquity. By all accounts, it is considered to be the most ancient of the Indian percussion instruments. It has been a highly developed percussion instrument since time immemorial. The accuracy of its pitch and the variety of its tone have no parallel anywhere in the wider sphere of world percussion music.
Aja Addy is an expert drummer from Ghana. He learned how to drum and to dance from his father as a young boy. At his concerts today he plays songs from where he grew up, several villages in the Greater Accra region.
Singer and marimba player
Known for her pioneering efforts in West African keyboard percussion music, Valeri Naranjo is originally from Southern Colorado. She moved to New York City after completing studies in vocal and instrumental music education (University of Oklahoma) and Percussion Performance (Ithaca College). In 1988, her playing of the gyil's traditional repertoire in Ghana's Kobine Festival of Traditional Music led to the declaration of a chiefly decree in the Dagara nation allowing women to play the instrument for the first time.
MegaDrums . 2000
"In the latest production 'Terra Nova,' Flatischler plays with Cornelia, Wolfgang Puschnig, Glen Velez, Airto Moreira, Leonard Eto, and Stephen Kent. There is not only an incredible virtuosity unfolding when these musicians play together, there is also the great compositions and the excellent sound quality which makes this CD so wonderful to listen to." (Callasong.de)
THE WORLD IS FULL OF RHYTHMS
MegaDrums . 1999
'The World is Full of Rhythms' is a compilation of the best musical moments from 15 years of MegaDrums tours (1984–1999) 'The World Is Full of Rhythms' is one of the most brilliant works in the history of percussion music and certainly Flatischler´s masterwork." (www.discover.de)
LAYERS OF TIME
MegaDrums . 1995
"In the latest production 'Terra Nova,' Flatischler plays with Cornelia, Wolfgang Puschnig, Glen Velez, Airto Moreira, Leonard Eto, and Stephen Kent. There is not only an incredible virtuosity unfolding when these musicians play together, but also the great compositions and the excellent sound quality which makes this CD so wonderful to listen to." (Callasong.de)
MegaDrums . 1993
For the first time ever, Flatischler combines a complete gamelan orchestra with jazz musicians and drummers from around the word. To be able to compose and arrange for this group, Flatischler intensively studied all the different instruments in the Balinese orchestra.
MegaDrums . 1990
The last production with Aja Addy, the legendary talking drum player from Ghana, who died 2002.
Leonard Eto, (member of the group "Kodo," taiko), Japan; Milton Cardona (congas, bata), US; Aja Addy (dondo), Ghana; Reinhard Flatischler (buk, gongs, tabla), Austria; Wolfgang Puschnig (saxophone, flute), Austria; the Megadrums Percussion Ensemble.
MegaDrums . 1987
"Rhythm detaches itself form the role of accompaniment and becomes the driving force of the musical composition – an important message for jazz." (Jazz Forum). One of the few productions with the original Samulnori group from Korea: Samulnori (changgo, buk, ching, kwenggari), Korea; Aja Addy (dondo), Ghana; Dudu Tucci (conga, Brazilian percussion), Brazil; Wolfgang Puschnig (saxophone, flute), Austria; Reinhard Flatischler (changgo, rantang, buk), Austria; the Megadrums Percussion Ensemble.
MegaDrums . 1986
Flatischler's first album has become legendary. It includes Pandit Arjun Shejwal, one of the greatest masters ever on the Indian pakhawaj drum. Pandit Arjun Shejwal died in 1992.
Pandit Arjun Shejwal (pakhawaj),India; Dudu Tucci (congas), Brazil; Reinhard Flatischler (changgo, tabla), Austria; Wolfgang Puschnig (saxophone, flute), Austria; The Megadrums Percussion Ensemble.