About Katy

I am a professional drum circle facilitator, certified Village Music Circles Global trainer, percussionist, retreat leader and event organizer whose mission is to bring people together to experience the healing power of drumming and rhythm. I have been organizing and hosting drum events in the Washington, DC area for over 15 years, most notably the First Saturday Drum Circles, Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival, Wednesday Night Drum Jams, Takoma Park Summer Drum Circles and the Washington National Cathedral Drum Circles.

I am a drum circle facilitator and certified drum circle facilitator trainer. I lead drum circles at senior centers, churches, schools, birthday parties, retreats, team-building events, community festivals and celebrations. I’ve worked with kids, adults, seniors, and special needs populations. I’ve also learned how to offer virtual drum circles on Zoom! I’m trained by Arthur Hull, known world-wide as the godfather of the drum circle facilitation movement. and am a certified Village Music Circle drum circle facilitator and global trainer.  I’m a graduate of Village Music Circle’s East Coast Facilitator Playshop (2003), Hawaii Playshop (2005 as a mentor), Advanced Facilitator Playshop (2008 & 2014) and have participated in two Rhythmical Alchemy Playshops, and Train the Trainer program (2020).  I am a member of the Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild and have a graduate of the Remo Health Rhythms and Rhythm to Recovery trainings.

I am a drummer. I started drumming at WDC’s beloved Malcolm X Drum Circle in 1998. From there, I fell in love with hand drums and have studied Latin, African and Middle Eastern Percussion with many teachers: Luis Garay, Jaqui MacMillan, Mamady Keita, Layne Redmond, Scott Robinson, Tammi Hessen, Baile McKnight, Mahiri Edwards Keita, Jason Walker, Daveed Korup, Kristen Arant and Monette Marino. I currently play djembe, dunun, sangban, kenkeni, conga, bongos, dumbek, frame drum and percussive instruments. I am the percussionist for Djesben, a trio that has been playing its own unique world-jazz-groove music since 1999 and am a former member of the Bele Bele Rhythm Collective, an all-women’s drum troupe that plays West African rhythms and songs.

I am a retreat leader.  I lead weekend and day-long retreats that incorporate wellness, rhythm, drumming, spirituality and nature. I am on the retreat staff at Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Center and have also led retreats and programs for Shalem Insitute for Spiritual Formation. I am a graduate of Shalem’s Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups & Retreats Program.

I am an event organizer. In the past 15 years I’ve organized and hosted hundreds and hundreds of events: community rhythm festivals, monthly and weekly drum circles, weekend drumming retreats, 6-week contemplative music series, family drum circles, drum and dance events, fire circles, performances and more. I am impassioned by the energy that is created when people gather together to drum, make music, dance and connect. I’ve experienced first hand the transformative power of impromptu collaborative music making HUNDREDS OF TIMES! For me and all the people I’ve drummed with! From age 0-99, we can all drum and feel that positive energy that comes from connecting with our own heart beat and the heart beats of those around us. Plus it’s FUN!!!!


So many incredible experiences, but some highlights from the past 15 years…

  • Leading my first drum circle facilitator training (Oct. 2019) and becoming a certified Village Music Circles Global Drum Circle Facilitator trainer (February 2020)
  • Drumming for Wellness classes, 2017-present
  • First Saturday Drum Circles at The New Deal Cafe, 2019-2020
  • Summer Solstice Drum Circle at the Washington National Cathedral, June 2019
  • Leading the Rhythm Workers Union with the Mother Drum Ship at the Women’s March on WDC, 2017
  • Facilitating a 700-person drum circle at the Washington National Cathedral that invited people to “Drum the Heartbeat of God”, 2016
  • Greenbelt Rhythm and Drum Festival: a day-long fest that featured multi-cultural drum performances, teachers and drum circles, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Sound & Silence Retreat: weekend retreat that weaved drumming, chanting, labyrinth, kayaking and silence, 2015, 2016
  • Summer Drum Circles at Takoma Park Gazebo: hugely popular monthly drum circles, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Wednesday Night Drum Jams, hugely popular weekly > monthly drum circle during the winter months in Takoma Park, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Djesben, 1999-current
  • Dial R for Robot, 2016
  • Bele Bele Rhythm Collective, all women’s intergenerational and multi-cultural drum troupe that plays West African rhythms and song, 2015 – 2017
  • EnviroDrum, 2015 – current
  • John K Band, 2010-2014

Before 2010

  • Facilitating a Community Drum Circle to Celebrate the life of Darhyl Lyons’, a drummer & beloved member of the Takoma Park community
  • Offering a “Day of Drumming” as part of the Pilgrimage of Peace with Stefan Walligur
  • Leading a women’s retreat on spirituality, wellness and drumming with the Mount Vernon UMC Church in Ohio
  • Facilitating 500 students drumming at Georgetown Day School’s MLK Inservice Day
  • Participating in the Advanced Drum Circle Facilitator’s Training with Arthur Hull
  • Co-Founding SoulFire Inside, a monthly drum & dance in Takoma Park
  • Co-Conspiring at Fires Rising (staff position & small group leader at all night alchemical fire circle event)
  • Attending SpiritFire, Sacred SoulFire, Forest Dance – all night sacred fire circle events
  • Arthur Hull’s 10th annual Hawaii Drum Circle Facilitator’s Playshop & East Coast Facilitator’s Playshop
  • Participating in the Drum Circle Facilitator’s Guild Conference
  • Leading Spirit Circles with Tribal Trance Fusion
  • Taking drum classes with Jason Walker, Scott Robinson, Baile McKnight and Jaqui MacMillan
  • Co-Founding Fireflight Productions, which offers performance art in unique settings