My musical background originates from studying drum kit and orchestral percussion throughout school. I was first exposed to street drumming as a 15-year-old whilst on holiday in Sydney where I participated as a drummer in the West Australian float for the Centenary of Federation Parade in 2001 with a group called Freo Samba. Years later, I had the opportunity to start a new group with some of the original members of Freo Samba, it was there we decided to call ourselves ‘Wasamba!! Freo’s Carnival Drummers’. I was involved in this group for nine years throughout much of my time studying at university. In 2010, I visited Broome for one of my final year placements and enjoying it so much I came back to Broome to finish off my studies. I left the Freo group where my younger brother took over the musical directorship.

Originally, I was hesitant in setting up a large drumming group in Broome. I ran small projects like drumming circles, teaching drumkit and played in a few local bands. I eventually got the opportunity to teach drumming and percussion for my wife’s class at Roebuck Primary for their assembly items, one of these groups performed in Shinju in the same style as Wasamba.

It was at this stage I decided to run a six-week introductory course for group drumming to gauge the level of interest for a group like Wasamba in Broome. This course also coincided with the Fremantle (Freo) group coming up on a performing tour which gave everyone an insight as to what we could eventually become. We started the group using second-hand drums and home-made instruments, however using the funds raised from lessons and gigs, we managed to replace all of our instruments to what we are using today. Within the first year, we registered ourselves as a not for profit, run by a Committee and were established in 2015. This last year (2019) we have performed in a variety of gigs including the Go Pro International Summit, Telethon Fundraisers at Cable Beach Club, The Kyle Andrews Walk, The Derby Boab Festival and many others. As a not-for-profit, any funds we raise goes straight back into the group for instruments, insurance and general upkeep. We’ve also managed to take the group to Perth in 2016 and performed at the Freo Festival.

We rehearse weekly every Tuesday night at Goolarri Media, where we are fortunate to be able to use their space in the Gimme Gimme Club. Part of our objective is to be all inclusive community group where everyone is welcome to join. We currently have around 40 members - they range in age from 3 to their 70’s, we have families, people of different background and abilities musically and physically.

Everyone creates their own costumes where artistic flair is encouraged. Depending on which instrument you’re on determines what your base colour is. We have an artistic director within our group, who often helps give advice to create a look that would suit Wasamba, as a result we have some incredible costumes.

It can be a bit intimidating when you first join the group, but everyone has started as a beginner at one point. It’s a wonderful group to part of where you can develop long lasting friendships with amazing people.

For further information and pictures Instagram: Wasamba broome Uniquely Broome edition