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Clinical studies have shown the power of the drum to relax the tense, energize the tired, and heal the emotionally wounded.
Since it’s inception, Drum Cafe has harnessed the healing power of interactive drumming to sponsor or assist in philanthropic projects around the globe. A Traditional Orchestra in South Africa, performances to raise funds for SOS Villages in India via Esprit, Children’s Wish Foundation and other child-based charities in Europe and the USA, human rights awareness through Nelson Mandela Day in London and the USA, events for the deaf and chronically ill.
When the devastating Tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, Drum Cafe launched the Nico Nico Smile Project – a rehabilitation initiative that traveled to the Tsunami devastated areas of Japan, bringing joy and recuperation to the traumatized communities. Drum Café braches from around the world sent facilitators, artists and clinical psychologists to run free, facilitated, interactive group drumming sessions in schools, hospitals and shelters with a goal to treat 4000 people per month. Today, Drum Cafe Japan continues to visit schools and temporary houses in the Tsunami affected areas and has set up a special NPO to facilitate continuity – one beat, one community at a time.
Nico nico in Japanese means to smile. On March 2011 Mariko Hoshiyama, owner of Drum Cafe in Japan was in her hometown, , when the earthquake struck. With her were two Drum Cafe performers – Nathi and Nomvula.
Mariko’s family owns a restaurant, and within days of the disaster she became involved in providing food to victims. Mariko saw clearly she could make a difference in the lives of survivors who had lost so much, and she intuitively knew that drumming would be a powerful way to deal with.
With the help of Larry Lok from, who designed a beautiful proposal, the Nico Nico project (which in Japanese means ‘to smile’) became a reality.
The initiative involves visiting schools, hospitals and shelters facilitating interactive drumming sessions with small groups. The entire initiative is fully sponsored and has already reached thousands of people in need in Japan.
Drum Cafe Japan has now a registerd NPO, called Drum Cafe Japan NPO and continue to help people to reconnect to hope and reconnect to life.