Schedule of Performers

Our Diverse Drumming Community

Muhtadi International Drumming Festival is fortunate to have a large pool of drummers from many different cultures right here in Canada. Most of the performers participating in our festival this year are based in Toronto. This year we have a special group, Indestwas Ka, coming direct from Guadeloupe for the festival.


10:00am-10:00pm-INTERNATIONAL VEGAN MARKETPLACE (lots of healthy, tasty & nutritious foods & products!)

12:00-12:20-OPENING CEREMONY-KIM WHEATLEY- Anishinaabe Traditional Grandmother & Ancestral Knowledge Keeper
1:00-1:30- DJ MONTY HAMMER
2:00-2:30- PAN MASTERS STEEL ORCHESTRA (Trinidad & Tobago)
2:30-3:00- BAQUE DE BAMBA (Brazil)
3:00-3:30 – ISSHIN DAIKO (Japan)
3:30-4:00 - HIMALAYAN VIBES (Nepal)
4:00-4:30- DJ MONTY HAMMER
4:30-5:00- MUHTADI WORLD DRUMMERS (Regent Park, Toronto)
5:30-6:30-INDESTWAS-Ka (Direct from Guadeloupe)
6:30-7:00- FRIDAY NIGHT DRUMMERS (Canada)
7:00-7:30- TDOT (Brazil)
7:30-8:30- MARK MOSCA BAND (Trinidad & Tobago)
8:30-10:00-DJ MONTY HAMMER

Schedule subject to change without notice


10:00am-8:00pm-INTERNATIONAL VEGAN MARKETPLACE (lots of healthy, tasty & nutritious foods & products!)

10:00am-1:00pm-LET THE CHILDREN PLAY (Drumming for Children) Plus CONUNDRUM*
1:00-1:30- ROOTS & BRANCHES (Toronto Caribbean Youth)
1:30-2:00- JOEY MUHA (Canada)
2:00-2:30- KOMMOTION (Toronto)
2:30-3:00-MARACATU MAR ABERTO (Brazil)
3:00-3:30- DJ MONTY HAMMER
3:30-4:00-GURPREET CHANNA (India)
5:00-5:30- SAMBA SQUAD (Brazil)
5:30-6:30- INDESTWAS-Ka (Direct from Guadeloupe)
6:30-7:00- JOY LAPPS PROJECT (Trinidad & Tobago)
Schedule subject to change without notice

Northern China Waist Drum & Dance Group

The waist drum dance is part of traditional Chinese folklore, and is commonly seen on various Chinese festive occasions. It originated in northwest China over 1,000 years ago, and it’s believed that waist drums were originally beat by immortals in heaven to dispel evil spirits.

The waist drum dance is basically playing drumsticks, formation changes, and leaping while beating the waist drum. Nowadays, it is usually performed to the accompaniment of rhythmic drumbeats and dynamic songs or music.

Indestwas Ka

‘’Gwoka’’ music which is said to represent the soul of Guadeloupe, dates back from the period of slavery and has moved in forms and content to adapt to the socio-economic changes that have affected our people since then.

Created in 1993 INDESTWAS KA has rapidly become one of the very best performers of traditional drum music in the French Caribbean islands. With its 13 versatile male and female artists, it has dedicated itself to transmitting and renewing, the Gwoka tradition, more especially the style of playing called "indèstwas".
It invariably involves playing the seven basic rhythms of Gwoka in which singing, beating and dancing are closely related, each one expressing a variety of feelings.

Isshin Daiko

Isshin Daiko is a community music ensemble in Toronto, Canada that plays traditional Japanese instruments including taiko (drum), fue (bamboo flutes) and chappa (cymbals). Performances consist of both traditional pieces and contemporary compositions by founder Kiyoshi Nagata and current and past group members.

Himalayan Vibes

Himalayan Vibes is a small group from Nepal, the Himalayan country and  the land of ethno music. The group consists of famous percussionists of Nepal. Currently, they live in Toronto.  They perform Nepalese folk music featuring various drums of Nepal. They have performed at various events in Toronto.

Muhtadi World Drummers

MUHTADI WORLD DRUMMERS is a visibly diverse group. That diversity ends when they start to play. This is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-professional group. It represents the eclectic mix of people that live harmoniously in Toronto, Canada.  It is a cross section of the more than 40 members of Muhtadi’s Saturday morning drumming class in Toronto. This group’s performances are in great demand and it has been featured on CBC (Canada’s national television) Canada Day celebrations and was also the opening act for a performance by popular R&B artist Alicia Keyes.

Scintillating world rhythms and beautifully orchestrated heart stopping beats are musical hallmarks of this group. The big sound vibrates inside of you and MUHTADI WORLD DRUMMERS take you on a delightfully melodic ride on a magic carpet of drumbeats. This group celebrates its diversity by playing in unison.


Local artist, David Hynes is the creator of an original art/musical instrument called Conundrum III. Conundrum III is a 12-foot long cedar strip canoe covered in a rawhide skin, turning it into a 12-ft long, canoe-shaped "canoedrum". There are two Conundrums in the world; Conundrum II is on permanent display at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough Canada, and the other is in David's possession and has been taken on tour to various venues in Canada and the United States. The Conundrum is unique in its canoe construction, its powerful sound, and the magic of its communal nature. It has been described as an 'iconic Canadian musical instrument" and, as you can see at the YouTube links, it creates excitement and joy wherever it goes.

The Conundrum bonds people of all ages, walks of life, ethnicities, abilities and cultures creating a harmonious symbioses that is joyful and infectious.

Roots and Branches

Roots and Branches Dance Program focuses on the dances, stories and movements of the African Diaspora.

Joey Muha

Canadian drummer Joey Muha is a virtual YouTube sensation. Videos of his energetic and skillful solo drumming have gained him worldwide popularity with an incredible 150 million combined views! His delightful drumming to iconic hits like Surfin USA and popular children’s songs like I’m A Little Teapot is sure to put you in a happy Festival mood! Don’t miss his performance on Sunday.

The Joy Lapps Project

Joy Lapps affectionately known as the Princess of Pan is a Toronto-based musician, composer and arts educator.   Her efficiency with the tenor pan and diverse performance range have led to great audience receptions and flattering recognition from seasoned professional pannists.  Joy performs primarily with her jazz trio and often expands this formation to a quartet or to an even larger musical ensemble. She is also a member and supporter of the Toronto-based steelband, Pan Fantasy.   Joy has released four recordings, "Praise on Pan: How Great Thou Art" (2004), “Make a Joyful Noise” (2006) and “It’s Christmas Time” (2007) and recently completed an EP of original compositions entitled “Morning Sunrise” (2014).   In addition to her work on stage, she facilitates steelpan workshops and has been an artist in residence at various schools and libraries in the Greater Toronto Area.  -


Kommotion is a Toronto based, Caribbean folkloric group renowned for their uplifting music and dance performances. Their music evokes the melodic, rhythmic and percussive spirit of African culture, and their repertoire travels from the hills of early slave resistance, through the postcolonial legacy of Kaiso and Calypso’s contemporary social commentary.



Maracatu Mar Aberto

Maracatu Mar Aberto is an Afro-Brazilian percussion and song troupe playing Maracatu de Baque Virado and other rhythms derived from the traditions of Northeastern Brazil. Translated to English as 'the Open Sea', the name represents the aggregated influences that have travelled from Africa to Brazil and onward to Toronto and beyond. Featuring Jerusa Leão on lead vocals, this dynamic ensemble combines the traditional with the original for a raw and dynamic performance.

Joaquin Nunez and Toronto's Rumberos

Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo was born and raised in Cuba. His early inspiration was his musically gifted father Porfirio Nunez, a former singer/guitarist with one of the oldest Cuban orchestras "Brisas de Nipe".

As a professional artist Joaquin has had a successful music career in Cuba. Performing in numerous music events and festivals, he shared the stage with some of Cuba's most elite musicians like Emiliano Salvador, Juan Pablo Torres and Joel Rodriguez Milor.

Eventually settling in Toronto in 1999, Joaquin quickly became immersed in the local music scene performing as a drummer and percussionist with top Canadian based artists (Jane Bunnett, Bill King, Njacko Backo, Eddie Bullen, Hilario Duran, Luis Mario Ochoa), performing in many of the festivals (Montreal Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Beaches Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Halifax Jazz Festival) across the country as well as internationally.

Joaquin recently finished a stint in the Toronto production of "Dirty Dancing" at the Royal Alex. He is also the leader and musical director of the Afro-Cuban percussion ensemble "Rumba Iyabo" and the traditional Cuban music group "Cubanos". Joaquin also teaches percussion and hand drum technique in the "Soul Drums" music program.

T.Dot Batu

TDot Batu is a tightly knit Afro-Brazilian percussion batucada inspired by the power and dedicated to the study of the rich rhythmic tradition born out of the fusion of samba and reggae from Salvador, Bahia. As an integral part of the Toronto Tropical music scene they collaborate with members of the arts and music community to create spectacular participatory celebrations that reflect the vast color and energy of Brazilian culture.

Kim Wheatley

Kim Wheatley
“Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen”
Anishinaabe Traditional Grandmother & Ancestral Knowledge Keeper

Kim is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation Reserve located in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario. She is Turtle Clan and carries the spirit name “Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen” which translates to "Head or Leader of the Fireflower” She is the Mother of 3 daughters and also a proud grandmother of 2 granddaughters & 1 grandson. Kim is a multi-award winning cultural consultant who has represented Canada internationally and locally in diverse circles of engagements. She utilizes Traditional stories, songs and teachings to generate meaningful relationships based on mutual understandings & respect for the earth.
She has been a cultural board member for a wide variety of organizations and a consultant/presenter for various cultural events spanning over 2 decades across the province, country and internationally.
Some of the key highlights most recently include being the founder of Aboriginal Celebration Day for Durham Region, key organizer for Brampton Indigenous Arts Festival 2016, Great Lakes Water Walk 2017, Masters Indigenous Games 2018 & curator for Fort York’s Indigenous Arts Festival 2019.