Trustee – Community Drumjam Foundation
Partner – Drumjam
Roberto Narain is one of the Trustees of the Community Drumjam Foundation. Music aficionados in India have long delighted in the inspiring talent of this drummer extraordinaire. An extremely versatile artiste, Roberto is constantly exploring new dimensions in music.
Born in Monza, Italy, Roberto lived in Bangkok, Thailand until his family moved to Bangalore, India in the early 80s. He picked up a pair of drumsticks when he was thirteen –and hasn’t put them down since
In the context of Drum Circles, Roberto who has been facilitating drum circles from 2006, along with his partner Vasundhara Das, started Drumjam in 2008. Roberto, who is trained in Drum Circle Facilitation by Arthur Hull (the founder of the worldwide modern Drum Circle Movement), is an experienced, skillful facilitator who has facilitated Drumjams for groups as small as 5 people and as large as 10,000 people. Roberto’s passion for rhythm is communicated to everyone who takes part in Drumjam events, and his exuberant energy creates a compelling atmosphere that participants in his drum circles remember long after the last beats have faded away.
Drumjam, over the past 10 years,has exposed over half a million people to drumming and rhythm with an extensive touring program doing 80 to 100 drum circles a year. In the year 2013, Roberto along with Vasundhara, started the monthly Community Drumjam at Rangoli Metro Art Center, Bangalore. Community Drumjam is a free family friendly drum circle, which is open to everyone. Community Drumjams have been held once every month since June 2013 and are completely funded by Drumjam, enabling it to remain agenda free and completely for the benefit of people.
As part of the work of the Community Drumjam Foundation, Roberto will now be running Drumjam VMC Facilitators Trainings in India to enable more people to take the positive impacts of this work to larger populations around the country. Roberto is a Village Music Circles Certified Trainer for India and is one of 14 International Trainers who now constitute the VMC Global Team. At the first co-facilitated 3 day Basic Facilitators Training held in June 2017 in Bangalore, Arthur Hull along with Roberto co-facilitated the first batch of Drumjam VMC India graduates.
As a performer, Roberto has performed in a number of bands, bringing his own brand of electric virtuosity to a rich variety of musical styles. He has studied with T. A. S. Mani of the Karnataka College of Percussion and classical carnatic rhythms ripple through some of his music. Other than that, with respect to drumming and music technology he is self-taught.
Roberto has worked with guitar maestro Konarak Reddy and celebrated musician L. Subramaniam. He has been a founding member of the following bands – the famous heavy metal band Millennium, Warden, Middle Earth, and co-founded the world music band Arya, and currently runs a recording studio, The Active, with his partner, singer / actress Vasundhara Das. The first project coming out of The Active was a collaboration called The Shah Hussain Project featuring Vasundhara Das and Mir Mukhtiyar Ali. The Shah Hussain Project features Roberto in a dual role of both drummer as well as producer.
A prolific all rounder, Roberto has performed in various settings and musical forms such as Rock, Heavy Metal, Jazz, Jazz Rock, Fusion & Funk and has over the years been part of festivals such as the “La mar de Musicas” in Europe, and has toured and performed in the US as well. In India, he has been part of the famous Jazz Yatra series, The Other Festival, The Ladakh Confluence and various other festivals.
Roberto Narain’s journey with live electronic music began in the year 2000 with ‘Sounds from My Mind’, his first performance in this genre. This stunning display of Roberto’s talent in an entirely new form took away the collective breath of musical heavyweights. Roberto is known for pushing the envelope as far as solo drum performance is concerned, and with electronic drumming, he is setting standards in a dimension that others are just beginning to discover.
Presently, Roberto is busy with his ongoing projects, Drumjam for drum circles, facilitator trainings, solo performances as well as recordings but places the highest priority on performing live and sharing his amazing rhythmical spirit with people through his Drumjams.