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So are you ready to get drumming now?
The Drum Calls!
I start noticing drummers at festivals and performances. Ah those powerful vibrations penetrating every aspect of my being, doing something to me but I didn't know what, there was just something about it...you know that feeling? It's like it was drawing me in, like a moth to the flame. It's allure was so strong. I was in my mid 20's and really soul searching at this time. I wanted to know what my purpose was, why was I here!? And then it happened. I found myself at a gathering one night and there was a radiant older man with a djembe. He encouraged me to give it a try obviously noticing that I desperately wanted to but wouldn't dare think I could do such a thing. But I did and that was it, the magic of the drum had captured my heart!
I Answer the Call
I start to drum a lot, and I start collecting instruments. At first playing mostly the African djembe, then after being gifted a beautiful frame drum I begin attending regular community drum circles, some sweat lodges and exploring drumming and Spirituality in general.
Move from Calgary to Saskatoon (with my fine Manitoba fella ) I start looking for other drum circle folks. I find and attend some very good circles led by both Trent Deerhorn and Kellie Welk.
We are blessed with the birth of a healthy baby girl! (We’re super blessed to be able to do this at home with the help of wonderful midwives)
I miss the community drum circles I used to go to in Calgary. I get really excited to hear that there is a drum festival that's going to be taking place! There I make the most wonderful discovery that I am not alone! All kinds of folks turn up on the riverbank with drums in hand eager to play together! We try to play along as best we can with African Drum Master Joseph Ashong, we are not trained in West African drumming so most of us do not understand the structure of the music. Joseph, speeding ahead driving the fantastic rhythm, we drum along but then like a bus taking a sharp right turn, Joseph does what's referred to as "a break", a sudden change of rhythm. Most of us go tumbling off the bus and into the dust, until it gets going again and because we are moved by the rhythms and called in our hearts we again try to play along. But again the rhythm changes and we are flung to the side of the rhythm road not understanding that this is traditional West African style drumming and unless you've studied it, you can't wing it and play along like one would at a community drum circle where the pulse remains constant providing a foundation you can always call home. One of my brilliant teachers Cameron Tummel described it best when he compared Traditional West African Drumming to a triangle. There is a hierarchy. You start at the bottom and work your way up through a great deal of practice and playing with those who know the ways. There are specific patterns and rhythms to learn and master before advancing. When all levels work together they lift the Master up at the top who is then able to soar and it is a magic like no other. Not understanding any of this at the time I lament how unfortunate it is that all these people are eager to play yet there is no Judy here to facilitate. "if only Judy were here, she would know what to do" I thought. The circle and the triangle are two very different schools of thought. Joseph did an incredible job inspiring the crowd to want to drum along, his energy and rhythms were infectious! It was a wonderful performance. I just showed up needing, wanting and craving a circle, so I could take my place and lose myself in the medicine of the drum circle experience; tuning into deeper parts of my soul and connecting with others doing the same, together reaching new heights and experiencing that wild and carefree joy that I remember used to come so easily as a child but now seems often so elusive. It wasn't until recently that I began to understand the difference between the circle and the triangle and the value of each. So, when the opportunity arises in October of 2006 to attend Judy Atkinson’s facilitator training program through her company Circles of Rhythm, in Calgary, AB. I go because, after all this time, I think I might finally know the answer to the burning question "So, what do you do?"
"I am a drum circle facilitator."
I rent a great space and begin hosting and faclitating a series of regular circles in Saskatoon. By word of mouth I reach over 200 people. Our “baby” is now 3 1/2 years old.
We welcome another baby girl to our family! This time it was a beautiful home water birth. She was also officially the first baby born under Saskatchewan’s new Midwifery Program.
2009 - 2015
I am C.E.O. of Domestic Operations
I spend the majority of my time/energy being a dedicated stay at home mom juggling the multiple roles of cook, chauffeur, cleaner, gardener, researcher, educator, mentor, inspirational & motivational speaker, administrator, social coordinator, photographer, medic, inventory manager etc. You know, all the usual parenting stuff, trying to stay balanced and grounded and all the while I continue to offer drumming circles and learn more about my craft. My studies, level of awareness and spiritual growth all continue to evolve.
Word of mouth continues to reach more and more people.
I also create a performance piece and incorporate it into a workshop called TribalNESS which has been offered at the Ness Creek Music Festival now for the past six years.
Thanks in large part to the encouragement of Fred Chlan I come out of my shell as a performer and have the opportunity to collaborate with local artists and musicians.
My email list for drumming circles grows to over 350 people. More than 100 drummers come out for a drum circle and potluck social in February of 2015!
180 Drum Circles later...In addition to facilitating the community drum circles my facilitation skills are now sought out by various individuals, groups, businesses and organizations. Whether team building for an engineering firm or healing with grieving family members, the drum’s ability to unite people through rhythm and deliver transformative experiences continues to motivate me to pursue this passion as my life’s work.
10 years have flown by and with our youngest daughter now in school full days, I am ready to take this to the next level!! Oh where to begin?!?! Well with a vision of course! And that my friends has been evolving, brewing, stewing, developing, simmering, growing and percolating with me all these years…
By now you may have a sense of how committed I am to this work. That's because I know it has tremendous potential to positively impact my fellow human's lives in so many ways and I am humbled to be able to dedicate myself to this work pursuing it now as a career choice.
It is with great pleasure I present...
Zen Rhythm Co.
A Professional Drum Circle Facilitation Service
Serving Saskatoon and Area
So after marrying at the young age of 22, studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design for two years, travelling to South East Asia and Australia then divorcing, some serious soul searching began. Late one night, on a walk through the graveyard in desperation I issued this challenge to the Universe “tell me what I’m here for or I am leaving! I want you to send me a teacher and I want to clearly know when they arrive.”
I mean after all, don't we all really want to know why we're here? Surely we have a purpose?
I began taking a number of steps that would allow me to delve deeper into the mysteries of life and explore some the gifts I was aware I had been given. Performance had always come naturally to me and made me feel alive so I spend some time training with a circus performance troupe. I had a deep desire to be of service to humanity and so I began volunteering with youth through a violence prevention program. Eventually these two things merged and I became involved with a theatre company dedicated to violence prevention and education. I worked on all aspects of production and took the show on the road acting as tour manager, sound and lighting technician and school liaison. I also became interested in learning more about energy medicine, something that had begun years earlier as my mother Donna Chicoine led the way in our home town of Prince Albert studying then practicing and teaching Healing Touch when I was around 13. Astrology, tarot, crystals, past lives, nutrition, the history of Canada that was not taught in schools and earth medicine, shamanism etc. all became areas of keen interest and exploration. At this time I also turned to the sweat lodge as a place of healing through the Turtle Medicine Wheel teachings. In an attempt to make sense of my deep connection to " the Holy Spirit" I felt, activated during my years of Catholic indoctrination, I ultimately found myself needing to answer a few rather important questions like: Was I actually having conversations with people who had crossed over or were these symptoms of mental illness!? Were the guiding voices real? If so, who was speaking to me? Why was I being shown things through visions? Were they real? And so much more…I befriended a number of people self employed as Psychics in Calgary as a way of better understanding what I was experiencing.. It was around this time that I also started really noticing the drummers around town, accompanying my musician friends, playing at street festivals and in performances here and there and felt the strong pull towards the call of the drum not knowing where it would one day lead!
One night at a gathering in the backyard of one of my psychic friends, in walked a man carrying a most impressive djembe over his shoulder and the clear voice of Spirit spoke ”There is your teacher”. I spent the next year and a half immersed in deep learning with him on a daily basis. The drum he carried that day was the first drum I had ever played and it happened to be one that he himself had made along with the legendary Babatunde Olatunji, look him up, seriuously! He is the man largely responsible for inspiring the kind of community drum circles you see so much of today. Then one day this respected teacher of mine showed up with the beautiful frame many of you see me with saying Spirit had led him directly to this drum and had instructed him to bring it to me and that I was to work with it. It wasn't long after that I met Judy Atkinson of Circles of Rhythm and began participating in her drum circles. As my appreciation for the many benefits of drumming grew so too did my personal collection of instruments but it would be a few more years before I would realize that this was MY CALLING IN LIFE!
I am currently a member of the Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild and have attended workshops with Cameron Tummel (USA), Brazilian percussionist Markus Santos (USA), African drum Masters Joseph Ashong (Saskatoon), inspirational youth workers/ drummers Lucas Coffey and Markus Fung (Edmonton), Sound Healer Marsha Reed (Calgary) and multi instrumental recording artist Prosad (Canada)I've also worked with local singer songwriter Dory Cook performing with her band SOKEYOTIN at the Aboriginal Music Festival in 2010, I've performed with Michelle Sutton and the drum ensemble Sambatoon, Malika and Padmashri during live kirtan performances and at the CD release of their Samanvaya Kirtan album as well as having the privilege of recording/performing one track of Beauty Faulkner’s album titled “Mother”.
I was also among the very first in North America trained to deliver the award winning DRUMBEAT program, which originates in Australia and use some of the material in my work today thanks to the genius of Simon Faulkner - Rhythm2Recovery who I plan to study with again this coming April. http://www.rhythm2recovery.com
You'd like to know a little more? Well sure, here it is!
My drum story timeline goes like this…
Really? You'd still like to hear more?...Well okay.
A warm hello to you!
I am Jade. (otherwise known as Cathy Chicoine)
Transformational Catalyst and Professional Drum Circle Facilitator.
I bring people together through group drumming, rhythm play, and circle work. I also offer one on one healing sessions.
The word facilitatecomes from the french word facile which translates to easy. So it is literally my job to make this easy!
And it is... Because we are wired for it!
We come into this world deeply connected to the rhythms of life pulsing through and all around us. We spend nine months in rhythm training before we even set foot on this Earth! That's right. Consider if you will that we are all immersed in the rhythmic pulsing of our mother's heartbeat from the beginning and proceed throughout the remainder of our lives living in the rhythm of our own pulse and the rhythmic inhalation and exhalation of our breath. As the day turns to night, winter turns to spring and life turns to death all to begin again, the great wheel turns and turns...We exist in Rhythm.
I am here to help people in remembering what we already know but have lost, to provide methods of self empowerment and ultimately to learn the art of Beating the Drums for Peace.
The drums of war have been beating long enough.
Join me on the journey to becoming Humans in Harmony.