Credit: Courtesy

Whether it’s the rumble of a timpani; the shimmering, bell-like swing of a ride cymbal; or the funky clave of a conga drum, percussion is at the heart of much modern music. Drums have been around longer than any instrument other than the voice, and their range of effects and variety of contexts are virtually limitless. At The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP), this universality of appeal works in the service of a fundamental educational goal — the mainstreaming of students with cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities. Drummer and educator Eddie Tuduri, the CEO and founder of the nonprofit TRAP, has created a curriculum targeting children with special needs but that is open to all. The TRAP approach uses drumming as the basis for teaching and enhancing skills in focus, memory, sequencing, socialization, motor control, spatial awareness, and communication. Through two decades of curriculum development, Tuduri and his collaborators have created something that has broad cross-cultural appeal and has been used successfully around the world.

On Saturday, December 11, students from the TRAP program will join some of the world’s greatest drummers and studio musicians on stage at the Lobero Theatre for a benefit concert. In addition to Eddie Tuduri, other musicians in the lineup include Tony Braunagel, a Grammy-winning producer and distinguished drummer for many great artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Buddy Guy. Braunagel will perform alongside Vinnie Colaiuta, known for touring and recording with Frank Zappa, Chick Corea, and Sting. And Luis Conte, whose congas have graced recordings and concerts by everyone from James Taylor to Madonna, will add his unique talents to the show. 

Tony Braunagel has been working with a group of TRAP students on a new song, “Rubbing Shoulders with Angels,” that they will premiere at the concert, and KTYD’s Lin Aubuchon will MC the event. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 11. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at (805) 963-0761.

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on February 16, 2024. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at


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