Malcolm X Park Drum Circle

In a year that was filled with change, upheaval and pain, one thing has remained wonderfully the same – the Malcolm X Park Drum Circle.

While the streets and the city had become eerily quiet during the height of the pandemic, on Sunday afternoons and evenings the welcome sounds of the drums could still be heard in the city blocks surrounding Malcolm X Park.

For the first time ever, the drum circle gathered throughout the winter and if it was too cold or raining on a Sunday, the drummers and dancers met on a weekday instead.

For people who suddenly found themselves having to work from home everyday and whose social lives had come to a crashing halt, the drum circle has been very welcome relief. The large and uncrowded park provides the perfect space for people to safely gather and at least for a few hours dance, drum, laugh and enjoy themselves. For many regulars the drum circle has become even more of a family than ever before, relationships have become deeper, and many new friendships and bonds have been formed.

In a year that contained so much negativity the drum circle has been a rare gift: a chance to celebrate life and to feel joy. Here’s more of that joy:

The Drum Circle has existed for more than 50 years. To see how similar it looked pre-pandemic, please see our article on the Drum Circle from two years ago.

All photographs copyright Rob Klug

Join the Conversation


  1. Great article. I literally just recommended the drum circle to a new couple of expats who are interested in ‘authentic’ experiences: this outlines it perfectly 🙂

  2. Beauty is always in the ey of the beholder… The true beauty of the Drum Circle is captured in this article. Grateful to be a part of this and the joy it Brings… The Ancestors are Smiling… Asé

  3. Wonderful capture of the continual rhythm of the Drum Circle, Rob! And the beat goes on!

  4. Peaceful peaceful rising. Great article. The warm reception from the people who’s been going to the drum circle as I’m not a newbie but it has been my first drum circle and this is my third state. The great energy and vibe was felt from day one. And I appreciated it. Music is soothing to the soul the drum circle is soothing to my soul. Create a peaceful one for yourselves forever and ever.

  5. The smiles and the energy captured in these photos are priceless. Some focused on drumming while others are moving with the beat of the drum. How amazing these still photos tell the story so well! Rob, you are truly a story teller. I look forward to your future article.

  6. Beautiful pictures- I can almost hear the rhythm of the drums. It looks as energetic and colorful as I remember it. Such a great way to spend Sundays in that pretty park.

  7. EXACTLY! Spot On! THIS! These Brothers & Sisters! Old Aquaintences Becoming Family! New Aquaintances becoming friends! Community! Sunday Congregation like no other church in the world! You’ve captured the joy the circle has brought me this past year! Thank you!

  8. Meanwhile, simultaneously, in the southwest corner of the park (pre-COVID)…

    The Meridian Hill Park Jam used to meet every Sunday afternoon in the southwest corner of the park. However, as that is now undergoing renovation, we are the Meridian Hill Park Jam [in Exile], meeting from 11:00 until 1:00 every Sunday at Marie Reed Rec Center, until we can get our corner back. We meet on the “tiered lawn bleachers” that sit between the soccer field and the tennis courts. See for details. Also

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