11 February 2009

Beat’n’Drum Recruitment

Beat’n’drum are Northern Ireland’s Premier Carnival Performance Percussion group. Bringing you rhythms and dance from around the world, their ongoing plan is to bring dance to your feet and an instant atmosphere wherever they go. 20 orchestrated percussionists will bring thunder to your doorstep and create lighting moves on the dancefloor.

For more information please contact Damian or Matt 028 9043 4767.

Names of Tutors

Damian Mills

Damian is the main tutor for Beat’n’Drum. He learned his trade with the BEAT initiative back in the early 90’s with the Belfast Carnival Band. He has worked as a teacher and musician since 2000 developing Samba in Northern Ireland. He has developed strong skills in teaching people of all ages and abilities. Damian has also been trained and collaborated with drummers from across Ireland, UK, Europe and Brazil.

Matt Vernon

Matt is a central figure in keeping Beat’n’Drum producing quality output. A keen percussionist he projects a good energy, is pro-active in the musical and social development of the band and works hard in producing new material and research for the group. Matt also has starting drum construction and is looking forward to creating lots of quality equipment for Beat’n’Drum and its members.


Barak Schmool
Saxophones, percussion

Founder of the F-IRE Collective, Barak has been a long-time member of Django Bates’ big band Delightful Precipice as well as playing with Bosco De Oliveira, Nana Tsiboe, Robert Mitchell and Hilaire Penda (sax/perc). His own bands; Timeline (Afro-rhythmic jazz), Meta Meta (Cuban Bata fusion) and Synergy (14-piece Big Band) present music often integrated with dance. He is also responsible for drumming group, Rhythms of the City (samba bateria) which arose from years of education work at City University, Trinity Laban, Goldsmiths College, Royal Academy of Music and numerous community projects. Barak has been responsible for developing the education projects of F-IRE, the record label, the programming of festivals and the international connections to the continent.

Niall Gregory

Niall’s drumming career began in 1990. He has worked with and been trained by some of the most renowned artists in this field including Dudu Tucci and Ravin Jayasuriya. He has developed expertise in Brazilian, Cuban and fusion styles of drumming. He has toured across Europe and America with the acclaimed band Dead Can Dance while also recording and performing across Ireland with Cahchimbo and Mukeka Bossa. Niall has extensive experience in teaching and facilitating drumming with all ages for varied performances and large scale productions including writing original score and visual design.

JP Courtney

JP is one of the UK’s top Brazilian & Cuban music percussionists. He has made many visits to Rio and studied Brazilian Samba Masters, Monobloco’s material. He has been teaching what he’s learned to his own bloco Toque Tambor, sambistas back in his native Ireland and to Yorkshire’s Bloco Brigantes project. JP will be working on the Ireland Drummers events.