Lafayette: ‘Drum circle’ helps bring out inner peace, better health –


LAFAYETTE — It doesn’t take an advanced degree to understand the communal and individual benefit of hitting a drumhead with a bouncing hand or slapping it with slightly curved fingers.

Better known as “bass” and “slap” drumming, one glimpse of 87-year-old Penny Kermit’s euphoric face as the Orinda resident participates in a monthly drum circle jam at Lamorinda Music led by educator and therapist Kathy Quain tells a story of empowerment.

Karen Sakata, center, pounds the drum hard as she performs with members of  Diablo Taiko after she is sworn in as the Contra Costa County superintendent of

Meeting the first Monday of each month from noon to 1 p.m., one hour of instruction and participation leaves Kermit momentarily speechless.

Recovering nicely, she said, “Unusual experience, truly awesome. My son told me it’s called ‘the wave.’ It happens to runners and musicians who are very into what they’re doing. It just happened to me; a ripple that went through my whole body. It scared me, such a silent, big thing happening to me.”

But it wasn’t silent…

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