PDT At Ogie’s Wednesday — Help Send Them To Texas!

Seen here is the Providence Drum Troupe in a rare moment of repose. This crew of percussionists, dancers, and jugglers is more like a weather front than a marching band; when they show up, the atmosphere changes, with all present being inexorably drawn along in the slipstream. (Mixed metaphor I know.) Their lively, seizure-inducing videos give a good idea of the vibe; go to FB and IG. Or maybe Meet the Troupe individually: JGlo 5000, The Rabbit, GMC Suede, GEM, Rock Paint, and more.

The crew has several performances coming up in anticipation of their upcoming trip to HONK! TX, the free festival of community street bands being held in Austin, Texas, from March 31 to April 2. The event does provide a stipend, but the group will need to augment that. There will be about twenty troupers flying out, plus the costs of airfreight, ground transportation, and accommodations, plus . . . we want them to eat barbecue while they are there!

One way you can help is by picking up some merch — hoodies, tees, hip flask — all with their nicely executed logo.

We wanted some background on the band, so PDT founder David Lee Black answered some questions for us by email. Apparently something good came out of the quarantine.

PDD: When did the PDT come together?

DLB: The Providence Drum Troupe was born during the pandemic by founder David Lee Black. It was a decisive time, with most artists starving to publicly create. Not unlike a childhood playdate, David invited fellow drummers to play, create and unify with the power of the drum and shared rhythm. The fellowship organically grew from there, with David also inviting his circus flow arts friends to join in the weekly gathering at the Michael Van Leeston Providence Pedestrian Bridge. The word went out and the public, also starved for connection began attending with family and friends from near and far. PDT’s inertia expanded, naturally attracting professional musicians, beginning drummers, flow artists from all walks of life and quickly became a diverse band family with only one rule, “Don’t be annoying,” which has worked well for us.

PDD: How would you describe your band and what you do?

DLB: The Providence Drum Troupe is an illuminated, wildly diverse, mobile, and lively group of musicians, dancers, and flow artists whose mission is to create spaces of rhythm, healing and joy. Our goal is to provide community connection and healing through music in the form of performance, education and the therapeutic qualities of rhythm and sound while trying to demonstrate that living in harmony is not an antiquated notion.

PDD: What can folks expect this Wednesday at Ogie’s Trailer Park?

DLB: The Ogie’s Trailer Park PDT Fundraiser will include a PDT performance, merch table, photo booth and outside water drum. The weather currently looks favorable.

I have no idea what a water drum is! But I happen to love percussion and I think this band is anything but annoying. They make great music and a fun party wherever they go!

PDT Fundy, 6pm, Wednesday, February 8, Ogie’s Trailer Park, 1155 Westminster Street, (directions)




Can’t make it? Go here for upcoming events around town.

February 17: Gallery Night, official start of fundraising, WaterFire Arts Center.

February 21: Mardi Gras Tuesday at KIN Southern Table and Bar.

March 4: Three events in one day! Pawtucket St. Patrick’s Day Parade; West End Lights Festival; Alice in Wonderland Gala at Superman Building.

March 11: Fundraiser and Variety Show at the Parlour.


I hope this means that our local, annual Honk! Fest will be returning. It used to take place on Columbus Day weekend. For those unfamiliar with the whole thang:

HONK!TX was inspired by the original HONK! Fest in Somerville, Massachusetts. In 2006, local street band Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society had a vision to create a festival celebrating the growing nationwide community of activist marching bands and the community-rooted union of art, activism, and music.

HONK! bands draw inspiration from sources as diverse as Klezmer, Balkan and Romani music, Brazilian Samba, Afrobeat and Highlife, Punk, Funk, and Hip Hop, as well as the New Orleans second line tradition, and they perform with all the passion and spirit of Mardi Gras and Carnival. Acoustic and mobile, HONK! bands blur the lines between performer and audience, creating free venues out of our public spaces to ensure that no age requirement or cover charge will ever keep you from experiencing a HONK!TX community music festival. This is the movement we call HONK!


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