After 20 years of Muhtadi International Drumming Festival (MIDF) the living legend of drumming and percussion Muhtadi Thomas was celebrated for his many accomplishments on Sunday, October 17th by a group of over 200 well-wishers who gathered at Wychwood Barns Park here in Toronto.
Muhtadi, who created the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival – a two-day multi-cultural extravaganza that showcases over 30 performers/groups playing an eclectic array of drums from a number of nations. From members of our First Nations – from both Canada and America – this festival attracted drummers from around the world including China, Japan, American, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean where Muhtadi is from.
On Sunday it was a time for several drumming ensembles, family and friends, to pay tribute to Muhtadi for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the drumming community in Canada and around the world.
Performances included drum beats from Africa, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Cuba and Canada. The thundering drum beats brought rain, winds and sunshine from the skies as many expressed their appreciation for Muhtadi’s inspiration. There was a moment when the Ganges meet the Nile with the rhythms of India and Africa blended in perfect harmony – a tribute to his world-wide vision. Despite his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhtadi was all smiles, meeting and greeting all his well wishers.