Layne Redmond, The Revolutionary Drummer

Layne was an American drummer who was an expert in many things, including writing, teaching, frame drums, history, and mythology.

Layne Redmond is exceptionally one of the best female drummers who bring contributions to the music world. Her book, When the Drummers Were Women, gave everyone new perspectives on female drummers. How she viewed drumming from religious and cultural rituals is what makes most people amazed at her as a musician.

Layne Redmond’s Life

Layne Redmond (August 19, 1952 – October 28, 2013) was more into ballet and tap dance during her childhood. However, at 14, she became interested in drums after seeing Karen Carpenter playing them on TV. 

Layne’s mother didn’t really approve of drumming as it was a ‘boy’ thing to her. Layne chose to do what she was told and keep dancing, but like her other friends, she still loved the music she heard on the radio.

The University of Florida in Gainesville became her first art school before she moved to Rutgers in Newark, New Jersey. It’s where she started to play drums. 

In 1980, Layne joined On a Whim, a conga-drumming class. It was the time when she realized enjoying music and producing music are two different things. However, Redmond had a sense of connecting with making music. She received many feelings, such as happiness and joy.

Redmond’s Dedication For The Industry

Layne Redmond was listed as one of the 53 Heavyweight Drummers Who Made A Difference in the 1990s by Drum! Magazine. She was ranked with other musicians like Zakir Hussain, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, and Mickey Hart

It was a male-dominated category, as she was the only woman on this list. But the unique fact is she’s the only drummer who works on the spiritual and healing aspects of drumming and rhythm from that list.

Redmond’s dedication to music knowledge can be seen in her book and research. Her path career was focused on the hand-held frame drum, which is the world’s oldest known drum. She thoroughly researched the drum’s history in religious and healing dimensions for many years.

Layne published her research in her book When the Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm in 1997. The book explains how there’s a lost history of women being the primary percussionists in the ancient world and why the situation is different in this era.

Accomplishments as a Drummer

Layne Redmond with Tommy Be

Other than the contributions from her book, she also has accomplishments as a drummer. One of them was when starting an all-female frame-drumming group named The Mob of Angels.

She and her band also released Since the Beginning, featuring guest artists Gorn and violinist Vicki Richards. The band also performed at many music festivals. Even though she started playing drums actively, she was still involved in teaching and sharing her knowledge with other women.

Layne also received several awards from Drum! Magazine from 2002 to 2005. Those are Percussionist of the Year (2002), Percussion Album of The Year: Trance Union (2002), Percussion Video of the Year: Rhythmic Wisdom (2002), Best Percussion Recording: Trance Union (2003), and Best Percussion Recording: Invoking the Muse (2005). It shows how influential she is to the music industry.

Exceptional Recordings

Layne Redmond Is Playing The Tambourine Happily
Layne Redmond is playing the tambourine happily

Some of her recordings show how she focused on music therapy. Her meditation albums are Chakra Breathing Meditation, Chanting the Chakras, and Heart Chakra Meditations. While for the other releases besides the meditation aspect are Invoking the Muse, The Wave of Bliss, and Trance Union.

What do you think?

Avatar Of Andrea

Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

Gemma Clarke, The Suffrajets’ Versatile Drummer

Celeste Spina, The Gifted Drummer Of Little Hurricane