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World Beat rhythm returns to Newport’s Nye Beach

    World Beat rhythm returns to Newport’s Nye Beach 

The Newport/Oregon Coast Community Drum Circle will be returning to Newport’s Coast Park in the historic Nye Beach District this Saturday [August 20] from Noon to 3:00 pm for an all-new August edition of its 12th Annual Summer Celebration Outdoor Concert Series — and to attempt to preserve a Newport and Nye Beach tradition. 

The summer-long, monthly free performances, featuring the not-for-profit drum circle’s Thunder & Lightness World Beat Ensemble, became a Nye Beach institution after it began as a free street performance sponsored by the Nye Beach Merchants Association in 2009 and evolved over the next decade into a full-fledged monthly summer variety show on the large outdoor theater stage in the Courtyard at the old Café Mundo. 

Since the closing of Café Mundo, the event has continued in a variety of locations, including online for a year as it dodged the initial COVID outbreak. Last month the event moved from the Literacy Park Amphitheater behind the Newport Public Library to Newport’s newest park, nicknamed “Pirate Park” for its pirate ship playground feature. 

Due to COVID the summer concerts are also incorporating the formerly separate monthly open drum circles this year. The group celebrates its 15th Anniversary, this month, of providing free and family friendly year-round participatory and performance events on the Central Oregon Coast. 

The new park is at 100 SW Coast Street, just east of the Newport Performing Arts Center. Drum Circle Coordinator Chander Davis said the park worked well for last month’s show and drew a good crowd, “It’s fully wheelchair accessible and very family-oriented with a small performance area and amphitheater type seating. Audience members can bring lawn chairs or blankets to spread out on the grassy areas and it has picnic tables, a state-of-the art playground, lots of parking, and easy access to a modern flush bathroom.” 

Saturday’s performance will feature an eclectic blend of high-energy multicultural traditional and indigenous rhythm and song with Davis leading on percussion, Mary-Beth Nickel on the Native American flutes, and surprise musical guests. Audience members are invited to bring their own acoustic hand drums and light percussion instruments to jam along with the performers.  

Contact Davis directly for more information at chandler@chandlerdavis.com or 541-351-5757. 

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