Drum Boogie Festival 2013 comes to Woodstock, New York

by Editorial Staff

Drum Boogie Festival 2013 is a free, one-​​day, family-​​oriented multi-​​cultural music festival celebrating the diverse styles of music, dance and voice from around the world. It will take place on September 7th (rain date 8th) 2013 from 10 AM to 8 PM at Andy Lee Field, Woodstock, NY.

The festival brings together world-​​class talent while introducing the audience to a variety of percussion styles such as: Jazz, Japanese Taiko, Middle Eastern, Rock, Classical, Native American, African, Steel Pan and more. This year’s festival will include performances by Jack DeJohnette, The Midnight Ramble Band from the Levon Helm Studios, NEXUS, Simon Shaheen, members of Broadway’s The Lion King, the Saturday Night Live Band, SO Percussion, Stomp; and much more.

The festival will kick off at 10 AM in the Artists Cemetery (across from Andy Lee Field in Woodstock) with a special tribute to George Hamilton Green Jr., an internationally renown xylophonist who was a superstar in the 1920s and 30s.


George Hamilton Green Jr.

Green, a Woodstock resident, had a huge following and a long list of recorded work. His popular music attracted huge audiences in New York City and around the country. Green’s virtuosity and popularity on the xylophone predated Lionel Hampton and lead the way for many vibraphone players to follow. He was an important ragtime composer and when he retired from performing he moved to Woodstock and became a successful cartoonist. Green is buried at the back of the Artists Cemetery and his gravestone is engraved with a drawing he made of his Woodstock home.

George Hamilton Green Jr.

Gravestone of George Hamilton Green Jr. in Woodstock’s Artist’s Cemetery.

In the 1970s, NEXUS, the Toronto based percussion group, revived much of Green’s ragtime music. NEXUS will be playing a few special compositions for the public at his gravesite as a prelude to Drum Boogie Festival 2013.


NEXUS on Mallets. Photo by Donald Deitz.

In the classical percussion world, this will be a landmark performance, attracting many attendees from the region and beyond. Green was at the forefront of a musical style known as novelty ragtime. Syncopation and technical virtuosity are key elements in this music.

His granddaughter and her children still reside in Woodstock and will be an important part of this memorial. After the Memorial Tribute to George Hamilton Green the gathered crowd will simply walk across Rock City Road to Andy Lee Field for the Opening Ceremony of the third Drum Boogie Festival at 11 AM.

Music is a universal language helping to erase lines of hatred and bigotry through the exchange of diverse cultures” said Garry Kvistad, Executive Director of the Drum Boogie Festival (Founder/​CEO of Woodstock Chimes® and NEXUS member). This event is part of a continuing effort on the part of the producing entity of the festival, the Woodstock Chimes Fund, to help recognize Ulster County as a major destination for art and cultural activities. The Drum Boogie Festival helps support Family of Woodstock’s music therapy program in the shelters and the teen painting program in the Hodge Midtown Neighborhood Center.

The idea of this festival came in 2008 in meetings between New York State Assemblyperson Kevin Cahill and Garry Kvistad to help develop public interest and understanding of percussion music and the benefits of rhythm in our lives. Percussion music, the most common and diverse form of instrumental music around the world is still not known in its entirety in many parts of the globe. The Drum Boogie Festival reflects that diversity.

There’s more to Drum Boogie than just drumming; it’s song, dance, food, family fun, & it’s FREE!

The Drum Boogie Festival is made possible through the commitment & support from, and collaboration with the community, local businesses, municipalities, and a terrific group of seasoned volunteers (mostly from Family of Woodstock)

Drum Boogie Festival 2013

Featured Image: Drum Boogie Logo by Milton Glaser







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