Drum For Joy class, Washington DC, "recital night"

 Jaqui  MacMillan


The long bio....

Jaqui MacMillan’s drumming quest began in the early 1980’s.  Over a span of fifteen years, she studied with many Masters, including Babatunde Olatunji, Mamady Keita, Sam Turner, Carlos Moore and Mahiri Fadjimba Keita at the Tam Tam Mandingue School in Washington, D.C.  She is also a graduate of the 1999 Drum Circle Facilitators Playshop and the 2001 Facilitators Mentor Training in Hawaii with Arthur Hull.  Although her studies were focused primarily on the African djembe drum, she also studied conga and Afro-Cuban drumming.

The Washington Area Music Association, (WAMA), awarded Jaqui the “World Music Instrumentalist Award” every year from 1995 through 2002 and the “World Music Female Vocalist Award” in 2001.  She was also featured in the Women Drummers issue of DRUM! Magazine.  As an endorsee of Mountain Rythym™ Percussion and REMO, Jaqui represented the companies as a guest facilitator at Summer NAMM in Nashville, TN, at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) in Ohio & Nashville, and as a workshop leader at the Seattle World Rhythm Festival.  Jaqui has facilitated drum circles for hundreds of conferences, corporate team building events, elementary and high schools, hospitals, programs for “at risk” children, juvenile detention centers and programs for homeless and battered women.  She is a founding board member of the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild (DCFG), an organization dedicated to professionalism in the field of drum circle facilitation.   For over thirty years, Jaqui has taught thousands of students, both privately and through Drum For Joy!™  workshops throughout the USA.

Jaqui performed with the Washington Area Music Award (WAMMIE) winning group, Big Village, for eleven years and produced six recordings with the group.  She has performed and recorded with numerous bands and has an extensive discography.  Venues played include the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, The Wetlands in New York City, the Starwood Festival in upstate New York, aboard the Greenpeace ship – The Rainbow Warrior and hundreds of other festivals, clubs and smaller venues in the Mid-Atlantic region.  She has shared the stage with the Neville Brothers, renowned sax man – Ron Holloway, Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead), Giovanni Hidalgo, Babatunde Olatunji and Jim Donovan (Rusted Root).  Her former group, Big Village, opened for national acts Los Lobos, Shawn Colvin, Rusted Root, Syd Straw, Yothu Yindi, Vinx, Gheggy Tah and Tricky.  Her duet, Mama Muti, (with Amikaeyla Gaston), recorded the sound track for the audio book, Making the Gods Work for You, (Sounds True label), by renowned astrologer, radio show hostess and author, Caroline Casey. Jaqui continues to perform and occasionally sits in with the band KIVA along with other groups.  

Her television appearances include a feature story on WITN Channel 7 evening news in North Carolina, the FOX 5 morning news, a telethon for Children’s Hospital (channel 9, DC), and many Mid-Atlantic cable shows.

Jaqui is the director of The Drum For Joy™ Orchestra and continues to teach her Drum For Joy programs.  After twenty years in Washington, DC, she moved to Maryland where she and Chris Stewart created Magnolia House Studios, a metaphysical shop and workshop space that features local artists and teachers.

 Jaqui believes that healing happens through the arts and music.