The only Aissawa in North America gathers right in Logan Square’s backyard. That’s great, you might say, but what does it mean? An Aissawa, according to every blogger’s favorite resource, Wikipedia, is a religious and mystical brotherhood with origins in Moroccan culture. Aissawa groups are known for their music ceremonies that evoke a trance-like state in participants.

DrumFace potterwheel © Marianna Kadlecova
 For Quentin Shaw, Aissawa means a chance not only to celebrate a deep connection with an ancient cultural practice, it also means a chance to share and participate in the musical traditions that he loves. He hosts the Aissawa group at the studio space, known as DrumFace, that he co-owns with his wife Heather McQueen.

DrumFace has been around for two years and in addition to hosting the Aissawa group, the space is also used for making both ceramic and metallic drums. Heather crafts the ceramic drums and Quentin, an experienced metal worker who helped with building the fence art at the Logan Square skate park, crafts the metal drums. They sell their drums through Andy’s Music and the Old Town School of Folk Music, as well as to individual buyers by request.

The DrumFace studio is also used for group and individual drumming lessons, workshops based around different drums and drumming styles, drop-in drum making classes, and occasional shows. The last Thursday of every month is an open house and vegetarian potluck night. Those interested can bring some food and/or a drum and bask in the welcoming atmosphere of a proper drumming community in our very neighborhood.

DrumFace Q spark © Marianna Kadlecova

Drum on!

3231 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL  60647

--Tamara Matthews


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