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DRUM! going to Olympics, introducing native culture to new audiences

Thu. Jan 28 – 4:53 AM
His father wanted him to pursue country music but Trevor Gould preferred traditional Mi’kmaq music.

At age 10, he started singing on the powwow drum and then he founded the Mi’kmaq northern-style powwow drum group Eastern Star Singers, which toured in the eastern United States and across Canada.

“That’s where I found my music, with the younger people, and it started to grow in our community,” says Gould, of Paq’tnkek, in Afton, Antigonish County.

His late father Joey Gould, a traditional Mi’kmaq country singer and guitarist, didn’t mind his son’s choice.

“He accepted it – as long as I was doing music.”

Gould, now 26, is going to the Olympics as a singer, drummer and dancer with DRUM! and is also hard at work as the youngest band councillor for Paq’tnkek.

“I went for it, to represent the youth, and since I’ve been here the last two months there are a lot of other issues in housing, welfare and family issues. I wanted to be a positive role model and example for other youth here and, now, it’s more for everyone.”

Gould is very loyal to Paq’tnkek First Nation. He left home to study sociology and history at Dalhousie University with a view to coming home to live and work.

It was while he was living in Halifax that he got involved in DRUM! “Back in 2004 – my father passed away in 2004 – and a couple of months after I got a call to join DRUM! in September of ’04.

“I was going to school at Dal and a friend of Brookes Diamond’s – we have a mutual friend, Alan Syliboy, he’s a good friend of mine. We did a lot of work together with Eastern Star – and Brookes called him and asked if he knew anyone who knew drumming and singing and lived in the city.” Syliboy called up Gould.

“At first coming from a traditional background – and I’m not involved in the musical or theatrical world – I was reluctant but Brookes sold the show really well to me and I went for it. I highly believe in the message and I also like travelling.”

DRUM!, started by Diamond in 1999, has grown into a widely touring musical spectacle featuring musicians, dancers, drummers and singers from Nova Scotia’s four principal cultures – aboriginal, black, Celtic and Acadian. Gould is pleased that DRUM! is taking the Mik’maq culture “to places where people have never heard of the Mi’kmaq before.”

In February DRUM! is going to the Olympics and, beginning Feb. 15, will be seen throughout Vancouver and its surrounding communities with six performances in five venues.

DRUM! will also take part in Nova Scotia Day on Feb. 16 with a performance with Mount Uniacke’s Buck 65.

Gould has been so busy as a band councillor that he hasn’t had time to get excited about going to the Olympics but “my community is excited for me.” However, he’s excited to be bringing Mi’kmaq culture to the West Coast and to be part of the show’s new segment called Drums of the World. For the shows in Vancouver, he’ll be drumming in a group including British Columbia-based cultural influences – Japanese, Chinese and East Indian – and musicians representing the four host First Nations – Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh.

Gould is also a member of A Tribe Called Mi’kmaq, a group of 15 drummers and singers from Millbrook that is in the running for the powwow idol online competition ( http://www.powwowidol.com), with voting for Round 2 ending Sunday. When Gould started powwow singing and drumming at 10 “there was little culture and tradition and language, and we started learning how to drum and we were learning our culture off reserve from other groups and elders. “The drum taught me a lot about equality and humility and camaraderie. We formed our own family. Because it’s also a form of prayer, we rely on each other.”



For interviews and more information contact:

Fiona Diamond
Brookes Diamond Productions / DRUM! Live
E: fiona@brookesdiamond.com
T:     (902) 492-1115  
F: (902) 492-8383

or Greg Guy
  (902) 425-3348  
  (902) 456-9244   (mobile)



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